Dear ZH Healthcare Stakeholders,
As I sit to write my first formal letter to you I was wondering how to characterize the year that passed. 2015 was a very energetic year for us with focused activity on several fronts. ZH Healthcare had tremendous growth in 2015 and we expect more of the same in 2016.
While we always knew what we wanted to do, articulating our message and communicating the same effectively is critical. I am glad to say that in 2015, we defined our mission: “to make health information technology and electronic medical records affordable and accessible to everyone” – and we have taken meaningful steps towards achieving our mission.
We aim to achieve that mission by delivering a platform that enables healthcare providers and innovators to quickly build and deploy their Electronic Health Record, using a set of tools and modules available on the cloud, with minimal time and cost. And that platform is called “blueEHRTM– Health IT as a ServiceTM,” developed by the talented people at ZH where innovation, creativity, and service are coded into their DNA.
blueEHRTM completed the requirements for the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) HIT Certification Program and now is Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified. Congratulations and thank you to the team for achieving this milestone.
Up until last year we had spent zero dollars on marketing. Our remarkable growth had been based solely on our reputation within the open source EHR community. That wouldn’t do. So, one major objective for 2015 was to establish a marketing program that will deliver our message to the maximum number of people. Therefore we decided to build a marketing team from the ground-up: it is now a team of ten.
The team delivered: ZH Healthcare started the year with ~65 monthly sign-ups to our freemium version in January and by December 2015, monthly sign-ups were at ~1,100, a 17x increase – great job marketing team, (20x increase seems like a nice round number for 2016, I’m just saying). blueEHRTM now has over 10,000 practices in 75 countries.
With the marketing team now finding their stride, 2016 is the year to build the sales team to convert the massive number of leads generated. For the past few years we had one sales person, me. We will build the sales team from the ground-up like we did with the marketing team, taking a first principles approach. ZH will challenge the status quo and not rely on old assumptions. We’ll experiment, seek new approaches, rapidly iterate, and find new ways forward.
We will double our efforts in aggressively selling to our core market – the United States. We also set down that path by recruiting a team of seven inbound sales representatives in December. In February of 2016 we plan to add ten more Direct Sales Representatives to work on the ground in India where the majority of our sign-ups occur. Our sales effort will be a combination of direct sales and resellers. We have resellers in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. We have already added five major clinics in the UAE as subscribers to our enterprise package.
blueEHRTM has two customer profiles: the end user – doctors and clinics, and the HITaaSTM partners who customize specific solutions. HITaaSTM as a concept is gaining traction and we have added eight HITaaSTM partners in 2015, (now totaling 17), in some very exciting business verticals and geographies.
Major business verticals added in 2015, were: sleep centers, long term care facilities, and an HMS (Hospital Management System). Geographically, ZH added partners and customers in: US, India, Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. ZH Healthcare’s ability to serve various business verticals and geographic markets that have highly specialized requirements and unique workflows further highlights the flexibility of the blueEHRTM – HITaaSTM platform and the underlying architecture.
We also hosted our 1st Annual ZH Partners Conference in October, thanks again to our partners for their participation and continued support.
The backbone of HITaaSTM is the Projects and Implementation teams, both ably guided by our own Mohammed Shahzad. These teams tackle each new challenge as an opportunity to learn and adapt. We appreciate their attention to detail and thoroughness. Part of our competitive advantage is the level of service to our customers, that is and will continue to be a focus.
We are encouraged every day by the positive and sometimes critical (constructive of course), feedback we receive from our customers and potential customers. That feedback is music to our ears and helps to propel us forward – keep it coming everyone, together we’ll achieve a greater positive impact. Customer retention rates remain high, in the +90% range – thanks again to our Projects and Implementation teams. We plan to maintain or increase that number by listening to our customers and providing high quality service at a reasonable price – an old concept but a good one – i.e., provide value.
A vision as bold as the one we set needs guidance and nurture from the wise. Towards that end, the ZH Advisory Board was established in 2015 under the leadership of Rodney Lake. The board has been providing sound guidance and advice, we are honored to have the support of this distinguished group, thank you.
Other significant numbers to note: ZH started 2015 with 86 team members and finished with 115, the team will continue to grow. Revenue grew by more than 30% in 2015, with 70% produced from recurring sources. Over the past 36 months ZH has grown by approximately 250%, with a compounded annual growth rate of just over 50%, while maintaining profitability – demonstrating that our management team is consistently focused on the allocation of capital and other resources. While we are proud of the team’s accomplishments, we continue to be restless and are busy building the infrastructure to support the next level of growth.
Our expectations for Team ZH are high, we know that we have a fantastic opportunity in front of us, not only to continue to build a wonderful company and work with great people but also to have a positive impact on lives through providing better access to healthcare – doing well, by doing good. We expect the pace at ZH to increase on all fronts. Thanks again to everyone.
Shameem C. Hameed
Chairman of the Board, ZH Healthcare