Entrepreneurship: HYBRiD Health IT
This article was originally published at The Clubhou.se
Member Gloria Dunbar has run her own business, HYBRiD Health IT, for five years. She recently joined theClubhou.se to take advantage of the co-working environment and has become a regular attendee of Founder’s Circle. Read on to learn more!
1. What is the business?
HYBRiD Health IT
2. When and where did you found it?
Founded in 2010 in Georgia.
3. Where is the business now?
Still headquartered in Georgia and working to expand on a national level.
4. What were you like in school?
Creative, curious, and optimistic.
5. Any extra-curricular activities?
I was a cheerleader and I played viola in the high school orchestra.
6. Any significant experiences/skills that (with hindsight) influenced your business?
Definitely, my parents. My father was an entrepreneur and I spent a lot of time with him up until he died when I was nine. I think hanging around him, seeing how he conducted business and treated people set my entrepreneurial foundation. Also, my mom was a social worker for the VA hospital and she spent many years working both in the hospital and out in the community where veterans lived. Listening and watching her work exposed me to having empathy and compassion for people.
7. Any previous entrepreneurial experience? Lessons learned?
Have patience; which I am still learning.
8. What appealed to you about entrepreneurship?
Freedom to pursue different interests.
9. How did you get the idea?
My career as a consultant enabled me to work with a number of technology projects that were aligned to a federal regulation and/or requirement. I came up with the idea for HYBRiD during the economic downturn in 2009. In 2009 when the stimulus package (ARRA) came out, I downloaded it; convinced there had to be something in there that me and my consultant friends could support and/or build a business around. Now, I will be honest, I did not read the entire ARRA , I read the table of contents simply to see what the legislation contained. Once I saw Health Information Technology and the HITECH Act, I focused on that section. After reading through it, I crafted a business around what I anticipated the market would need. Initially, I wanted to be a Think Tank, like Brookings, Heritage, CATO; but after going to the SCORE counselor in Atlanta, they felt the business was more viable as a for profit business.
10. How has your idea progressed over time?
Not at all, in the sense that I stayed to true to the mission of HYBRiD: to be a valuable service organization that generates and fine tunes solutions around healthcare policy and technology; while providing independent analysis, and knowledge management of the legislation and technical components. The independent piece is very important, because I wanted to make sure we were not ‘tethered’ to only a specific EMR company which could possibly narrow our focus. We have always worked with the medical community/private sector, but now I am working to grow the business in the federal space. The HYBRiD idea has changed over time, in the sense that I am now working on a “product” to add to our service offerings.
11. How did you fund the business?
One contract at a time.
12. How did you market your business?
Through print, word of mouth, and our initial contract with the Morehouse School of Medicine (which served as the State of Georgia’s Health IT Regional Extension Center). We provided Education & Outreach and management consulting services on behalf of the Regional Extension Center and the HITECH policy. That contract enabled us to solidify ourselves as credible sources in the exploding Health IT market.
13. Who are your main competitors?
Electronic medical record system (EMR) companies; most have set up business units to focus on “regulatory compliance”. Other consulting firms that support large federal contracts.
14. What have you learned from your competitors (both successes and failures)?
Build on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
15. What does a typical day involve for you? How does that compare to your team (if applicable). How has this changed over time?
Reviewing proposals, reviewing system reports for clients, staying on top of legislative changes, conference calls/meetings, and answering email. The proposal aspects have consumed more of me and my team’s time since the business was started.
16. Favorite books?
I’m an avid reader, so its hard to pick a favorite, but I will try. Old literature: The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin; Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison; Of Mice & Men, by John Steinbeck. Contemporary novels: Eat, Love, Pray, by Elizabeth Gilbert, A Day Late & a Dollar Short, by Terri McMillian. Business books: Anything John Maxwell.
17. Favorite movies?
I’m not much of a movie watcher, but if the following movies are on TNT, I will stop and watch them: A Time to Kill, Shawshank Redemption, Still Magnolias, Trading Places, Nutty Professor, Forest Gump.
18. Favorite entrepreneurs?
Andrew Carnegie, Madam CJ Walker, Steve Jobs
19. Best piece of advice?
Strive for excellence and not perfection.
20. Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurship in general?
“Do what you love and it will be easy,” nothing about entrepreneurship is easy.
21. What is next for your business?
Expand beyond our service based offerings by offering a health technology product.
22. How has working out of theClubhou.se benefitted your company?
Just being around other entrepreneurs! Entrepreneurship can be isolating sometimes, so its nice to have other like-minded people to socialize with, confide in, brainstorm and have a beer with. It helps you keep your sanity