A look inside the past, present, & future of healthcare’s leading eForms vendor
To celebrate the 25th year of FormFast, we sat down with FormFast’s President, Randy Campbell, to gain his insight into how the company has evolved over the past 25 years. Randy shared FormFast’s “secret” to success, the impact they have made and continue to make in the healthcare industry, and what the future holds for one healthcare’s leading technology vendors.
FormFast has remained a strong, successful company and an industry leader over the past 25 years. Why do you think that is?
Randy: That is a great question. Obviously, I haven’t been around for all 25 years – cause I’m not old enough you know – just want that on the record.
Honestly, I believe it has a lot to do with Rob Harding, our CEO. I’m not trying to patronize Rob, but it is sincerely his knowledge of the problems that he wanted the company to solve that has enabled us to know how to solve those problems (and new problems), and build successful relationships with hospitals over the past 25 years.
It is said that in healthcare as a vendor – if you’re not in healthcare, it’s hard to get into the market. Well, one of the main reasons for this is that their business is just so unique. They’re historically not profit-driven organizations and so they operate differently. They operate largely by relationships, trust, and credibility. This is something that I believe FormFast has always exhibited and has enabled us to be successful in the industry.
I think there is also a big credit due to our employees. Our people are willing to do what’s necessary to make our customers successful day-in and day-out.
I believe that ultimately, our success is really attributed to our dedication to healthcare. I think that is in many ways what separates us from competitors that are in other verticals as well. Healthcare is another vertical to them, to us, it’s how we are wired – it’s in our DNA.
Healthcare is obviously a very ever-changing industry and it’s evolved a lot over the past 25 years. How do you think FormFast has been able to remain relevant despite all those changes?
Randy: I think we’ve managed to stay relevant due to our willingness to be flexible and pivot quickly to help our customers solve problems. While this comes with challenges, I do think that is fundamentally why we’ve been able to keep pace with the healthcare industry.
We’re also solving a problem that consistently remains regardless of what the new trend, the new fad, the new mandate, or whatever the new requirement may be. Other vendors have come and gone, but the problems that we’re solving are just challenges that will always exists despite industry changes.
You can’t have FormFast without “Form” – can you tell us how you describe what “forms” mean in today’s healthcare world.
Randy: Simply put, “form” means information, it means process. It’s a way of encapsulating workflow associated with that process, the importance of the process, the information needed in that process.
Rob will tell you that forms were originally constructed to have a process embedded in the form. And so, to me, a form is a way of capturing information and disseminating that information in a way that is structured to a specific business process.
Healthcare should automate forms due to the need for efficiency around their clinical and business processes. It’s not just about automating the form itself, it’s really about automating the collection, processing, and dissemination of the information. And, whether the form itself continues to exist in its current format or other ways of collecting structured information, the automation is really about the process associated with that form.
Do you feel like FormFast is solving different problems today than in the past?
Randy: I believe we have moved beyond being a point solution the past few years. We still have very specific forms management problems that we solve, but we are doing that in more places within healthcare. For example, we’ve moved beyond being an application that was designed for hospital staff, to being able to reach out directly to patients.
I also can tell you from being in some of the sales conversations and being out and talking to some customers – we are solving much bigger problems today.
We are having conversations with CIOs, CMIOs, CMOs, CNOs, and CFOs. These are the folks that care about strategic problems and they see the value in our solutions.
While we have been solving strategic problems for 25 years, these groups are starting to realize that what may look like a “forms problem” at first glance, may be limiting the organization from achieving their strategic objectives.
FormFast has worked with 1100 healthcare organizations over the past 25 years. How would you describe FormFast’s relationship with our customer base, and how have these customer relationships shaped the direction of FormFast?
Randy: Well I guess it goes back to the fact that we’ve always been in healthcare and so we speak their language. They know that we know their business. A large percentage of our employees have backgrounds in the healthcare field – it goes back to the fact that it is in our DNA.
I also think it also has a lot to do with how hard we work to make our customers successful. We acquired those 1100 customers one at a time, and you don’t do that without making sure, that each time, the customer is successful.
For example, I’ve been out to customer sites with the services team and the sales team, and it’s clear that we’ve created relationships that really transcend the typical vendor-client relationship. Some of the services team has maintained a continual dialog with customers well past when a project may be completed. I can think of many of our employees that have continued to help customers with projects, and not just because we ‘have’ to, but because of the value of those truly personal relationships. We want to help them be better – to make their jobs and their lives easier.
How have these close-knit customer relationships shaped the creation of FormFast products and solutions?
Randy: Our customers have most definitely shaped the direction of our products and solutions over the years. Responding to their unique needs has gotten us where we are today. At times, helping our customers conquer complex challenges has taken a lot of effort, but it has always served us well in the end. It has ultimately led to FormFast being involved at a more strategic, broader level than we could have imagined.
How would you describe the company culture at FormFast?
Randy: While we are a dedicated group that works very hard, we also make sure we have some fun along the way by taking the time to recognize and to celebrate our individual, company, and customer successes.
Maybe it’s not a cliché, maybe it’s a truism, but a company tends to take on the culture, and even the personality, of the founder. Ultimately in many ways the culture and mindset of FormFast is a direct reflection of Rob’s leadership. He likes to have a good time, he’s a relationship guy, and that’s reflected in the company. Even 25 years later, we’re continuing the vision of what he started in 1992.
I think it’s fair to say that our employees come to work with the mindset that they are going to do better than they did yesterday. With that mindset, eventually you wake up and you’ve reached a new level of success and you’re at a place that you weren’t before. Along the way, people get more opportunities, they do more exciting things, and they do different things, and that’s a lot of fun, that’s what everybody wants to do at the end of the day.
During your time at FormFast, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Randy: FormFast is now to a point where we can, without hesitation or without doubt, walk into any sized healthcare organization in the country (or for that matter, the world) and, confidently say that we can help them overcome their challenges. There’s no problem that’s too big in the scope of problems we solve, there’s no environment that’s too complicated, and I am proud to see that the company takes on those challenges.
Why is 25 years of FormFast an event worth celebrating?
Randy: Well, number one, that’s extremely unusual in the technology world. Twenty-five years puts us at about the introduction of the World Wide Web. How many companies have been here the whole 25 years? So, I mean that is an incredible statement in of itself.
Our history is indicative of the whole healthcare market – how important of a part we have been and will continue to play. We solve a fundamental problem that stretches across different mandates and requirements and changes to healthcare. We continue to be here because there’s some fundamental problems that we help them solve. So, its rightfully deserved that we make some noise about 25 years because that’s an incredible achievement for any company period.
Even more so for a company in the technology world and in the healthcare world where change comes and goes, organizations come and go, and even hospitals themselves come and go – FormFast has continued to matter.
So what about the next 25 years? Where do you see FormFast?
Randy: Our simple objective for the next 25 is to matter more, to solve even more problems in healthcare.
In the next few years, we are going to be expanding beyond just our traditional base of acute care, which again, goes back to the fact that we’re able to go into any sized facility, with any EHR, and solve their problems.
There’s no reason in the world that we can’t be a household name in all areas of healthcare, maybe eventually even beyond providers and into the payer space and the pharmaceutical space. The growth opportunities are endless in this industry.
25 years is a long time, but many of these goals we plan to achieve in far less, and I look forward to being a part of that journey.