The vision for Sentry was simple—to use real-time data in the acute care setting to provide actionable information that would bend the cost curve down and the quality curve up.
I first realized a need in the market in the early 1990s, while working as the CEO of a medical service organization that took on risk for healthcare services being provided for a managed care plan. At that organization, data was a problem—it was received too late to be actionable and it was claims data. This didn’t help the company to impact real-time outcomes of healthcare—either cost or quality. There was no longitudinal data for comparative analytics, and there was no visibility into the episodes of care being provided to the patients, either at the time of their stay or during their journey through the healthcare continuum.
Finding the Path
The genesis of Sentry was to create a data company that could radically change healthcare through the receipt, use, amalgamation, and aggregation of data by enabling hospitals to link this information to patient episodes of care—and in particular, to the administration of drugs. We wanted to see that information in real-time, have actionable data, and allow hospitals and clinicians to know exactly what actions need to be taken. Our goal was to use real-world evidence, leveraging real-world data to deliver information that would lead to actionable events, which would, in turn, reduce costs and improve quality.
Secondary to that idea was the knowledge that we needed to show hospitals a tangible ROI. We knew that the 340B Drug Pricing Program—a government regulation that allows certain hospitals serving the most vulnerable patients to purchase prescription drugs at a deep discount from pharmaceutical manufacturers—was an environment ripe with opportunity. We decided to offer a SaaS-based 340B compliance and analytics software solution, to show hospitals that we could quantify exactly how much money they could save, by comparing what they were spending at the time with what they could be spending after implementing our tools.
The two ideas fed into one another: we wanted to amass a comprehensive, de-identified patient dataset for comparative analytics to identify cost-saving opportunities, but we knew we needed to show up-front value and ROI for the hospitals, beyond data collection. Our 340B solution allowed us to do both, offering a tangible platform while also accessing data to develop our Patient Data Intelligence Platform™ (PDIP), which would offer even more value and potential for ROI in the long run.
Paving the Way
Our challenge was in pushing the healthcare industry out of its comfort zone—and healthcare is an industry notoriously resistant to change.
In 2004, when we embarked on this journey, SaaS was unheard of in healthcare. Hospitals were uncomfortable with it, CIOs didn’t want it, and everyone was very uneasy about having data in the cloud. We had to create our own cloud, and assure the healthcare industry of the security of the whole thing. In fact, we are proud to be the groundbreaking technology vendor who first convinced hospitals to adopt SaaS delivery technology.
Our second challenge was that many hospitals weren’t even aware of the 340B program. We had to sell them on both the value of SaaS for 340B compliance and management, as well as the value and legitimacy of the 340B program itself.
Our job today is to ensure that the customers have the tools and technology necessary to provide as much transparency to all stakeholders as is required to preserve the 340B program.
The Road Ahead
Sentry has come a long way. The cornerstone of our company and our 340B solutions is the belief that, without viability, there is no patient care. And anything that a hospital could do to stretch its dollars for patient care was essential—not just to treat patients that had insurance, but to provide much-needed community programs necessary to treat the underserved population.
Sentry has always been at the forefront of innovation. That is both our opportunity and our responsibility—to provide technology solutions combined with a strong analytical team that helps healthcare organizations navigate complex waters and continue to deliver on their mission, which is patient care.
Our rich longitudinal data platform aggregates millions of clinical and financial records and includes one of the largest pharmacy transaction databases in the world. We are poised to help transform value-base care through our Comparative Rapid Cycle Analytics (CRCA™) engine, which is a DATA SOLUTION that is delivered as a service. CRCA compares treatments, drugs, processes and costs to help providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and payers identify treatment patterns that achieve the best outcomes at the lowest costs.
We look forward to being a powerful catalyst for positive change in our healthcare system.
Our goal was to use real-world evidence, leveraging real-world data to deliver information that would lead to actionable events, which would, in turn, reduce costs and improve quality.