Startup Spotlight: DOCPACE, a Queue Management System for Healthcare Professionals

Our Startup Spotlight series highlights New Orleans-based entrepreneurs who have gone through The Idea Village’s accelerator program for innovative, high-growth ventures. 

Next up is DOCPACE, a queue management system for healthcare professionals. The startup was founded by New Orleans-born entrepreneur Shelby Sanderford in 2015. Here’s how she answered our questions: 

Describe your company in two sentences or less. 

DOCPACE, imagine flight status updates for Doctor’s appointments… patients receive real-time appointment status updates via text messaging, so they no longer must wait in the waiting room. DOCPACE is using automation and machine learning to cure long wait times.  

How did you come up with the idea behind your company? 

During my undergrad years at Southern Methodist University, I had the opportunity to shadow a Professor who was the President of a Hospital in Dallas. While there, I was a sponge absorbing the challenges that the organization was struggling with. One challenge stood out, Patient Satisfaction scores and Medicare Reimbursements. As a result of low Patient Satisfaction scores, organizations can lose millions of dollars through their Medicare Reimbursement. I was shocked. Even more surprising was the fact that wait time was the largest contributor to the online rating/scoring platforms. Eliminate wait time and increase satisfaction… save a lot of lost revenue. It seemed so obvious.    

Why is your solution the best one for your customers? 

Electronic health records are making it easier than ever for doctors to communicate with patients, diagnose electronically, and make record keeping a seamless part of the doctor-patient process. With all the advances technology has made to patient care, there have still been no improvements to the time-efficiency of a visit to see a doctor. Our technology allows doctors to seamlessly improve their schedule with machine learning while alerting patients to changes in timing. Patients are happier and doctors are more in control of their day-to-day schedule.  

And why are you the team to make this happen? 

This is a team full of energy and determination, young minds trying to prove themselves. We have a skilled development team in place, a PhD in machine learning on our advisory board, experienced healthcare marketing and sales team members, and a very passionate and determined leader. 

Where more years of experience are needed, I fill those roles with more experienced individuals either as a consultant or an advisory member. 

Why do you think New Orleans was the best place for you to found this company in? 

I am a born and raised New Orleanian with a passion to promote growth in the Health Tech space in my own backyard. In addition, I wanted to launch DOCPACE in a city where I could initially leverage my existing network and connections. There is huge opportunity for growth and expansion in the Tech space in New Orleans and we have a strong Healthcare presence here.  

Tell me about a current goal you are working towards with your company. 

Traction and growth. We are currently well positioned for fast growth, so we are hyper-focused on sales, marketing, and resource alignment to help the snowball roll.  

What’s a challenge you are currently facing as a company? 

We are very lucky to be in a place where we have many different opportunities on the table. It can be challenging to designate resources to each priority at the same time while simultaneously prioritizing our task lists.  

What has been your proudest moment so far as one of the founders of this company.  

As a founder, I feel it can be challenging to acknowledge and celebrate the little successes that happen day-to-day because you get so focused on the bigger picture. However, over the past year I have worked towards enjoying the little wins to fuel and push me to achieve the bigger wins. Now my proudest moments happen when I share with individuals what DOCPACE is and I literally watch expressions change when they realize how helpful this product will be for their business. I can see firsthand the impact DOCPACE will have, that’s a pretty magical feeling.  

What’s a fact about yourself that people would be surprised to hear.  

In 2013, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. 

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