Burnout levels have been rising among the nation’s pharmacy staff over the past few years. On Tuesday, a new healthcare automation startup emerged from stealth to try and address this problem.
The San Francisco-based company, named Plenful, sells a workflow tool that automates manual and administrative workflows for pharmacy technicians. In addition to its launch out of stealth mode, the startup also announced that it has closed a $9 million funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and signed contracts with more than 20 customers.
Plenful CEO Joy Liu said she saw plenty of pharmacy staff members burnt out by the bottlenecks plaguing their daily workflows while she was working at Shields Health Solutions, a health system specialty pharmacy company. When she left the firm, she knew that pharmacies needed a platform that can integrate with disparate data sources to easily automate various burdensome tasks.
Her startup’s platform seeks to do just that — it ingests data from health systems and pharmacies to automate a range of administrative tasks. Some popular use cases among health systems are referral management and 340B audits. Popular use cases among pharmacy customers include referral orders, document data entry, revenue cycle management and 340B claims qualification.
“Plenful’s platform ingests and connects data from various sources and formats, such as faxes, PDFs and electronic health records. Then Plenful’s highly configurable and AI-powered platform can apply organization-specific rules, flags and automations to this processed data. The platform is designed for healthcare operators, ensuring ease of use without significant IT involvement,” Liu explained.
The company sells its technology to health systems and pharmacy companies through annual contracts. Some of Plenful’s more than 20 customers include Tampa General Hospital, Renown Health and Medication Management Partners. The startup claims that its customers have already saved more than 50 man-hours per day of otherwise manual work.
The startup may have nearly two dozen customers under its belt, but it is still entering an increasingly crowded healthcare automation market, populated by the likes of Innovaccer, Notable, Olive AI and Navina. Liu argued that Plenful stands out from the competition due to its specific focus on automating pharmacy operations, as well as its customizable no-code platform that can process both unstructured and structured data.
“These characteristics set Plenful apart from conventional point solutions and generic workflow automation platforms. As a result, there are few competitors offering a comparable level of healthcare-centric, no-code and highly configurable workflow automation solutions in the industry,” she declared.
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