PODCAST #12. The Product Manager’s Path to Health Tech Innovation: Product Strategy, Leadership & OKRs

We were thrilled to have a distinguished product strategist, team leader, and customer support specialist from the post-acute and long-term care sector join us for today’s episode. 

Our guest, BJ Boyle, holds the position of Chief Product Officer at PointClickCare, a top healthcare technology platform dedicated to improving patient outcomes by fostering collaboration and offering real-time insights. 

In this discussion, we delve into the following: product strategy formulation, effective team leadership, and expert viewpoints on OKRs.

BJ’s Journey into Product Management

BJ has over 20 years of experience in product management, strategy, and development, witnessing the growth of product management as a career path in digital transformation companies within the healthcare sector. BJ didn’t initially plan to pursue a career in product management; instead, they began as an implementation specialist, traveling to skilled nursing facilities to install and train people on software.


I found great satisfaction in refining processes and collaborating with customers to ensure the delivery of their required solutions.

During an early experience with a client that decided not to move forward with a deal due to dissatisfaction with the software’s reporting features, BJ learned the importance of improving products based on customer feedback. This realization led BJ to work closely with engineering teams and customers to enhance products and ensure they met customer needs. Eventually, BJ’s passion for making things better and working with customers to deliver the best solutions evolved into a successful product management career.

The Transition to Electronic Health Records & Overcoming the Challenges 

As a director of social strategy development at Cerner, the transition from traditional pen-and-paper methods to electronic health records (EHRs) in healthcare organizations was a fascinating experience.

Initially, there was considerable resistance to transitioning to digital systems. However, over time, people began recognizing the benefits and efficiencies of digitization. 

While that’s true, BJ pointed out that: 

There is still much work to be done in utilizing the data from electronic health records and other digital systems to significantly enhance patient care and outcomes.

In the healthcare and technology space, challenges persist due to the complexity of the healthcare system and the involvement of numerous stakeholders. Implementing technology solutions requires not only the technology itself but also integration with existing systems and processes. Ensuring seamless operation remains a challenge. Moreover, effectively leveraging the vast data collected from electronic health records and digital systems to improve patient care and outcomes is still a work in progress. The focus is on using data to make better decisions and achieve better patient outcomes.

The Role of Product Management in Healthcare Integration

In the coming years, the healthcare system will focus on interoperability and seamless integration of new technologies and processes, with collaboration between organizations being crucial. Product management will play a critical role in understanding the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and identifying technological solutions to address them. By working closely with customers, partners, and internal teams, product managers can drive innovation and develop solutions that improve healthcare delivery and experience.

Entering a new industry with fresh perspectives allows product managers to ask better questions and listen more effectively to users and potential buyers. Instead of seeking affirmation for preconceived answers, focusing on genuinely understanding the customers’ needs helps in identifying the right problems to solve, ultimately leading to better solutions.

PointClickCare’s Success Pillars

At Point Click Care, which holds a leadership position in long-term post-acute care with a 70% market share, the focus is on being the engine that helps customers and future customers thrive in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. 

Point Click Care recognizes that healthcare is not limited to a physical location and seeks to connect senior care customers to the broader healthcare ecosystem, ensuring a seamless journey for patients from emergency departments to rehab centers, senior living facilities, and beyond.

BJ adds: 

Healthcare is centered around individuals; it was vital for us to integrate our senior care customers into the larger healthcare ecosystem.

How to Reduce Silos and Unnecessary Work in Health Tech Systems

The primary goal is to provide the best possible care and achieve the highest outcomes for patients, while ensuring healthcare providers get paid for their services. As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, especially with value-based care models and multiple stakeholders, it is important to identify and remove friction points in the processes. 

One example is streamlining the flow of information between hospitals and long-term care facilities to avoid medication errors and readmissions. 

By leveraging technology and adopting electronic data transfer, Point Click Care successfully eliminated double documentation and significantly improved the accuracy and efficiency of the process, demonstrating the critical role of product management in healthcare innovation.

Regarding effective approaches, healthcare teams can focus on the following key aspects:

Meaningful Transitions

Improve data flow and validation during patient transfers from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities

Medication Reconciliation

Nurses and admissions coordinators should perform real-time medication reconciliation to reduce readmissions.

Focus on Impact

Product leaders should prioritize making a meaningful impact and measuring it rather than just completing tasks.

Translating Strategy

Understand the art and science of product management to convert solution strategies into tangible actions.

Adapting to Organizational Growth

Recognize that methods used at lower levels may not be as effective as one moves up in the organization.

Aligning Team Mindsets

Communicate the right mindset to different teams with varying goals, using appropriate frameworks and processes.

Enhancing Transparency in Post-Care Facilities Feedback

We have to grasp the personas, roles, and titles of those involved to help create a better connection to their workflow processes. First-hand experiences, such as shadowing staff or observing daily routines, reveal the importance of these interactions in real-life situations.

According to Mr. Boyle: 

Engaging with our customers, partners, and end-users is essential for understanding the personas, roles, and titles of our target audience, particularly in healthcare and health tech product management.

For instance, witnessing a medication nurse being frequently interrupted while administering medications highlights the need for better solutions. Early career experiences with point-of-care kiosks in skilled nursing facilities emphasize the importance of efficiency and user experience. Observing and learning from these situations helps improve health tech products and the overall user experience.


As product management continues to evolve alongside the rapid advancements in technology, there are still untapped opportunities awaiting exploration. To ensure ongoing progress and success, product managers must remain mindful of key considerations and best practices in their field.

Here are the key take homes:

  • Utilizing electronic health records and digital systems data can enhance patient care and outcomes but requires further development.
  • Product management is crucial for healthcare integration, driving innovation, and creating solutions that address challenges faced by healthcare organizations.
  • Streamlining information flow between healthcare providers and adopting electronic data transfer can reduce silos and improve efficiency.
  • Engaging with customers, partners, and end-users helps understand target audience personas, roles, and titles, enhancing transparency in post-care facilities feedback.
  • Observing real-life situations helps improve health tech products and user experiences by understanding users’ needs and experiences.








The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.

Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?

Please find out about all this and more in our podcast. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe to channels.

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Data Security for Healthcare: Top Methods, Challenges and Benefits of Implementation

Isn’t it strange that despite all the talk about data security in healthcare, often there’s little action taken? Imagine finding out about a data breach only after losing valuable information! This was the reality for Professional Finance Company, a healthcare debt collector in Colorado. They experienced a cyberattack that affected nearly 2 million people. Although no misuse of private information was found, the final outcome remains uncertain.

But the risk doesn’t stop at late detection. Data breaches can be expensive, sometimes even forcing businesses to shut down or pay massive fines. If you’re in the medical field dealing with patient information, securing that data isn’t just important—it’s absolutely vital. However, the complexity of data security can lead teams to take shortcuts. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to overcome the challenges of keeping health data safe.

Data Security: What Does It Mean in Healthcare?

Healthcare data security means protecting patient information. This could be personal details, medical history, or financial facts. The aim is to prevent unauthorized access, modification, or destruction of this data.

Let’s illustrate this with a scenario: a patient is moving to a new city and needs to transfer their medical records to a new doctor. In this situation, data security becomes vital. It ensures that the patient’s information remains safe during the transfer.

But how does this information move around in a healthcare ecosystem? Let’s break it down into steps:

  • Both doctors must use secure ways to send the patient’s records. It stops others from peeking in.
  • The new specialist must check who’s sending the records. This ensures it’s coming from the right place.
  • Only people allowed to see the records should have access. You can do this  by setting clear rules on who can see what.
  • The patient’s details must stay the same during the move. Checks are used to make sure nothing’s been changed.
  • Once the new doctor gets the records, they must store them safely. This keeps the data risk-proof both while it’s being sent and when it’s arrived.


Securing Patient Records: Why You Should Care 

We’ll kick off with a few statistics to appreciate the value of data-proof strategies in healthcare.

How Often Does Data Get Stolen? 

Reports say the number of information thefts each year has tripled. It went from nearly 200 in 2010 to over 700 in 2022. In 2022 alone, more than 52 million people had their health information stolen in these breaches.

What’s the Cost? 

According to a 2022 survey, the average cost of a healthcare data breach has hit double digits for the first time. It’s jumped to a record high of $10.1 million. That’s 9.4% more than in 2021 and 41.6% more than in 2020.

While these figures may seem overwhelming, they also highlight the urgent need for improved safety. Recognizing the benefits of data protection can inspire proactive steps towards enhancement. Here’s what a secure strategy can offer you:

Trust is key between patients and doctors. Good data security means patients feel safe sharing their information. This leads to better care.

Secure and up-to-date patient data helps doctors make better decisions. It lets them give personalized care and reduces mistakes.

Medical organizations have to follow data protection rules. For example, Americans have HIPAA, and Europe, the GDPR. These rules need strict data security to keep patient info safe. By keeping data safe, your company can meet the demands and avoid legal problems.

The healthcare sector is a common target for cyberattacks. Good data security helps protect patient info from theft and fraud.

Data breaches can cost a lot of money and harm an organization’s reputation. Prioritizing data security can help protect against these losses.

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The Three Pillars of Data Security to Address

Data security has three main principles: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. They are known as the CIA triad. We’ll explore each one.

Confidentiality keeps information private. To do this, we use:

  • Access Controls: Limiting who can see data based on roles or permissions.
  • Encryption: Scrambling data so only authorized users can understand it.
  • Authentication and Authorization: Checking user identities and permissions.

Integrity means keeping data accurate and consistent. In practice, this means:

  • Hashing and Digital Signatures: Using math (cryptographic algorithms) to make sure data hasn’t changed.
  • Change Control and Auditing: Tracking changes and looking for unauthorized edits.
  • Data Validation and Input Sanitization: Checking and cleaning data to prevent issues.

Availability means making sure data is accessible when needed. It entails:

  • Redundancy and Fault Tolerance: Using backup systems to prevent disruptions.
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning: Making plans for dealing with outages.
  • Security Measures to Prevent Downtime: Protecting against threats that could cause downtime.


Techniques for Ensuring Healthcare Data Protection

You might be wondering about the best practices to protect information. Here’s what you should do: 

One key aspect is robust access keys. They allow employees to see only the data they need for their job, which helps reduce unauthorized access. Unique passwords that change frequently, combined with multi-factor authentication, also offer additional layers of security.

Encryption plays a role in protecting data, both when it’s stored and during transfer. Using encryption protocols like AES or RSA makes stored data unreadable to unauthorized users. To protect data from being intercepted while being sent, secure communication protocols like HTTPS or SSL/TLS come in handy.

Update Systems and Apply Patches Regularly

Systems upgrades and applying can help fix known security issues and make systems safer. A vulnerability management program can help find and fix security risks.

How frequently do you check your network to identify weaknesses and gaps? Creating action plans allows addressing risks and enhancing data security. A backup and disaster recovery plan safeguards information from loss during system failures or attacks. With regular backups and a well-designed disaster recovery plan, we can restore systems and details quickly after problems occur.

Another key step is setting up intrusion detection systems. Recent stats are concerning. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports 80% of healthcare breaches come from hacking. Unauthorized access makes up another 15%. You can find and stop unauthorized access attempts timely. Meanwhile, auditing access logs helps spot and investigate suspicious activities.

Negligent employees are a big problem. They cause 61% of healthcare data breach threats. Luckily, healthcare groups are improving. They’re getting better at spotting insider breaches. They’re also better at reporting these to the Office for Civil Rights. What kinds of incidents are we talking about? Employee errors, carelessness, spying on medical records, and even data theft by bad insiders. You can provide all-inclusive training about HIPAA and security standards. Technologies that monitor access to medical records also reduce these breaches.

Healthcare Data Security: Obstacles and Mitigation Tips

A report by Singapore-based Cyber Risk Management (CyRiM) highlights healthcare as a sector greatly affected by cybercrimes. Hackers usually target healthcare and finance industries, with 15% and 10% of attacks respectively. In the last two years, the healthcare sector lost $25 billion.

It’s obvious that medical firms face critical data security challenges. Below are a few of them and how to curb them. 

Interconnected systems, such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), often interface with third-party applications. While this integration enhances functionality, it can also inadvertently create vulnerabilities and expose sensitive information.

Solution: Maintain an inventory of connected devices, conduct vulnerability assessments, and implement network segmentation.

Even in the best of workplaces, disgruntled employees are a reality. This can potentially lead to insider threats, endangering the company’s security and potentially compromising sensitive details.

Solution: Remove previous staff from all your networks and educate current ones about the costly implications of leaking data.

Establishing a robust defense system can be a costly endeavor, often beyond the financial reach of smaller hospitals. Consequently, these institutions may find themselves lacking the necessary resources and expertise to ensure adequate IT security.

Solution: Use managed security services or collaborate with cybersecurity partners. Prioritize security investments based on risk assessments.

With the advancement of technology, cyber attacks are also evolving. Actors continually adopt new strategies to compromise healthcare information, making the digital landscape an ever-changing battlefield.

Solution: Create a proactive cybersecurity program with threat intelligence, penetration testing, and incident response planning. Stay informed about emerging threats and best practices.


The root of the problem lies in the foundation. If you’re developing medical software and don’t prioritize IT security, you could run into major issues. The choice of the vendor matters! How well do they understand healthcare systems? Do they comply with HIPAA rules? These aren’t questions to take lightly. At The APP Solutions, security is our top priority. We leverage AI and machine learning to create the safest networks possible.

Are you tired of unpredictable security? Do you want to nip potential threats in the bud? If so, get in touch with us.

Let's discuss how we can bolster your security


Key differences in EHR vs. EMR vs. PHR: what to choose for your healthcare organization

Have you ever had a situation when you visited your physician, he gave you a receipt for medications, and you couldn’t read a single word? Well, notoriously bad doctor’s handwriting will soon belong to the past, since statistics show that, in 2018, over 95 percent of hospitals, and nearly 90 percent of office-based physicians, have adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system. 

electronic health record (EHR) system

[Source: Healthit.gov]

However, for effective medical treatment, physicians use not only electronic health records (EHR), but also electronic medical records (EMR) and even personal health records (PHR). 

If you are considering developing medical, electronic, or patient health records, you need to read this article through to the end. Below, we give a detailed description of all types of health records, compare them, and give handy tips on what kind of records you need to use for your healthcare organization. 

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EHR vs. EMR vs. PHR: definitions 

All these abbreviations of digital health records are used by different medical specialists under different conditions and include a different set of features. To avoid confusion in terminology, and to keep records straight, let’s go ahead and understand these concepts in-depth. 

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What is EMR software?

EMR in healthcare, which stands for ‘electronic medical records’, is a digitized version of hand-written paper records maintained at the office of medical specialists. Such documents include medical diagnosis, treatment, and prescribed medications aimed at tracking patient data over time. 

The main advantage of EMR healthcare data is that it helps practitioners to receive quick access to the patient’s basic vitals, including age, weight, blood pressure, and so on. Based on EMR, medical specialists can provide a more personalized medical treatment for patients. While EMR software solutions could be used within a particular office, doctors can not share this data with other departments. Let’s consider the following example. 

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When a doctor needs to share a patient’s electronic medical records with a colleague from another department, such as an endocrinologist, one needs to print the data and then sent it via email. After the endocrinologist has checked and commented on the patient’s EMR, a doctor needs to manually input this information into the EMR system for feather diagnosis and treatment

Example of an electronic medical record interface

[Example of an electronic medical record interface, source: YUKSEL SETHWI]

What is the EHR software?

EHR, which means ‘electronic health records software’, is similar to EMR. However, the main difference between EHR and EMR is that EHR systems offer much more. EHR systems collect health information about patients from multiple sources, such as hospitals, physicians, labs, and patients. Such an approach improves the way patients receive treatment. For example, ERH allows doctors in the emergency room to access a full patient’s medical history, and details about allergies and other issues immediately. The advanced features of EHR systems significantly improve diagnosis and treatment (and life in general) for both patients and doctors: 

  • Patient portals allow patients to access their healthcare data via laptop or an ERH mobile app from the comfort of their homes
  • Electronic prescriptions, transmitted directly to pharmacies, save patients’ time since all the medicine will be processed while the patient travels to the pharmacy from the doctor’s office
  • Voice-to-text translation and speech recognition saves doctors’ time rather than having to manually write patient healthcare information. 
  • Reporting makes it easy to track revenue projections and provide details on how many patients have paid or failed to pay their bills. 
Example of an electronic health record interface

[Example of an electronic health record interface, source: Stefan Klocek]

What is the PHR software?

PHR or ‘personal healthcare records’ may seem similar to EMRs and EHRs. However, the patient is responsible for updating and keeping all data up to date. Such data may include patient’s medical history – past critical information from doctor visits, medical procedures, medical & lab reports and data, and even family health history. 

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While such health information is less clinical, PHR systems work great for tracking the patient’s healing progress after extensive surgeries, providing medical specialists with enough data to make the right decisions.  PHR mobile or web apps store vital radiography storage, such as MRIs, X-rays, etc. 

Example of a patient health record interface

[Example of a patient health record interface, source: Apple]

Now that you know what EMR vs. EHR vs. PHR are, their main features, and end-users, let’s compare these medical systems in more detail. 

What is the difference between EMR, EHR, and PHR software?

So, what is the difference between EMR, EHR, and PHR? To show you a clear picture, in the table below we have compared these systems by end-user, the information they include, and the ability to access this information by other users. 





Medical specialists in one department  

Doctors across hospitals, labs, pharmacies, patients


Type of information 

Medical history, prescriptions, current patient’s health conditions

Electronic records of health-related information on an individual

Include patient’s medical history that is entered by patients themselves, as well as data from other sources such as pharmacies, labs, and healthcare providers

Information access

Can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within a single healthcare organization

Can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one healthcare organization

Can be created, gathered, and managed by patients

Now that you know the difference between PHR, EHR, and EMR, let’s find out which system will best suit healthcare organizations. 

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Electronic Health Record vs. Electronic Medical Record vs. Patients Healthcare Records: Which one will work for you?

If you want to develop or buy software for your own practice and need to ensure that you are purchasing the right type of system, consider the following:  

  • If your healthcare facility has specific expertise in particular healthcare services, such as dentistry, choose Electronic Medical Records. 
  • In the case of your medical facility including numerous departments, such as labs, X Rays, emergency, and surgery, and you need to provide seamless transactions of patient-related data across these departments, consider developing the Electronic Health Records system. 
  • If your healthcare organization puts patients first and needs to track their recovery progress, Patient Healthcare Records is your system of choice.  

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In a nutshell

The main difference between PHR, EHR, and EMR is in end-users, type of information storage, and the ability to share patient data with others. 

  • EMR is suitable for keeping healthcare data by medical specialists within one department 
  • EHR allows different medical professionals from various departments to access healthcare records 
  • PHR makes it easy for patients to track their health during medical conditions or the recovery period. 

Now that you have a clear understanding of the difference between PHR, EMR, and EHR, you can choose the right software for the digitization of your healthcare records. 

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