28 Dec Kenny Kinley, Edafio President & CEO shares IT insights on IPROV Podcast
As President and CEO of Edafio Technology Partners, Kenny Kinley leads the charge to help, build, and protect clients’ businesses through information technology and cybersecurity.
He brings to his leadership of the firm more than 20 years of operational, customer relationship management, and sales leadership experience. At every step in his career, Kenny set a rare example in the industry —putting people first. Serving people has been the key to his remarkable success in helping businesses grow and thrive through technology products and services.
Transcript of the Conversation
Jordan Smith: Hey everybody, welcome to the iProv Made podcast, where we help you become a more profitable practice. As always, I’m Jordan Smith. We’ve got a very, very special guest, Kenny Kinley with Edafio Technology Partners with us today. Many of our listeners hear from talking about a profitable practice not only being directly tied to patient numbers, income or providing the right type of services, among other things. And one of those things is technology. Edafio Technology Partners specialize in healthcare and ensure that technology works as an advantage to your organization and not something you just have to use to get through. I’m excited to bring this perspective to our listeners.
Jordan Smith: Hey, Kenny.
Kenny Kinley: Hey, Jordan, how are you?
Jordan Smith: Good, thanks. His company’s name will sound familiar to the podcast listeners because we refer to you back in episode 14 when we interviewed Edafio’s Healthcare and Cybersecurity Team Lead, Valerie Moring. She said you need to talk to my boss, the President and CEO of Edafio Technology Partners, because there’s lots of knowledge that he can share with your audience. So, Kenny, we appreciate you accepting our invitation to be on our podcast.
Kenny Kinley: I am glad to be here, Jordan.
Jordan Smith: Kenny, before we get started, I always like to share our thought process on viewing the most successful practices. Often, whenever there’s an issue within healthcare practices, the very first thing that you recognize, as an owner, as a practice manager, whatever the case may be, are those symptoms. And just like listeners out there, you know that symptoms are underlying. There’s an underlying issue causing those symptoms, and you have to investigate and perform some root cause analysis. The symptom is an issue of something much larger that’s going on in your practice. The next step is that the bad news is that it’s probably all your fault, listener. The good news is, it’s probably all your fault. So guess who the one best equipped to fix it is, right? So from there, it’s about taking accountability for the issue and not just the symptom of the problem. From there, we always talk about the importance of taking a step back to figure out the organization’s vision.
Not only where you want the practice to go this year, but where do you see yourself in 2-4 years down the road? What is the overarching vision?
We always say the vision creates guardrails for employees and people who are not involved in every decision. And that’s what the vision does. The next thing we talk about after the vision is creating specific strategies. Whether it’s one specific issue or the practice as a whole, it is vital to develop particular strategies to assign tactics. As business owners, a lot of times, we hire, we plan, we do everything from a tactical perspective. In essence, we work backward, to say you’ve got to start up the top of the vision, then develop strategies that are the outcomes.
That’s the plan. The tactics are the steps in which you need to take to accomplish that plan.
And the last part is alignment and making sure that you’re empowering your team and getting everybody rowing in the same direction. All that to say, that’s why we’re excited to have Kenny on the podcast today because I know I’ve heard him speak. I’ve been in numerous kinds of business consulting courses and different educational seminars where Kenny’s got a lot of input and value in all the areas we find valuable. Kenny, let’s start by giving us a quick introduction of yourself and Edafio Technology Partners.
Kenny Kinley: Right, glad to do it. Edafio Technology Partners has been around for over 20 years now. We’re a technology services company that does all different types of technology support for clients predominantly in Arkansas and Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
We segment our offerings into five different pillars.
The first is around Information Technology consulting. We can come alongside organizations’ IT departments and assist them with projects and anything they need from staff augmentation or additional expertise. That’s one piece of our business.
The second piece is the Information Technology Management services. So for many clients, they say, “Hey, guys, we want you to take care of our technology infrastructure for us. This means we perform total managed IT services. We’ve been doing those two parts, Jordan, for over 20 years, which is the core of our business.
The other three pillars are relatively new things we’ve added over the last five years.
The first is around the cloud. We all know that the cloud is a necessary topic for many companies right now. We’ve got a cloud computing practice that can help you determine what type of cloud system you need.
- Do you need a public cloud?
- Do you need a private cloud?
- Do you need to stay on-prem with your software?
(Take the cloud readiness assessment to determine your businesses cloud maturity.)
The fourth is cybersecurity, and just like the cloud, cybersecurity is a big topic for all businesses of all sizes. We’ve got a dedicated cyber team that performs risk assessments, all types of cyber remediation work, and training.
Then the fifth pillar is healthcare consulting. You alluded to Valerie speaking on a previous podcast, and she leads that group for us. We added that practice or pillar about five years ago because about two-thirds of our business is healthcare. And what we found was clinics needed help with compliance programs and training, chart reviews and EMR support, and more. And as such, we formed a healthcare consulting group, so all five of those pillars work together. We feel like it gives us a unique offering because we can do many different things exceptionally well. We strive to be that one-stop-shop for clinics and hospitals.
Jordan Smith: I know, just speaking for many listeners out there, there are probably two groups (one when you started mentioned, technology and technology consulting, and, you know, the different pillars. Some of them probably said, “Oh, cool, yeah, this is exciting.” The other half probably said, “Oh, technology is the thing that’s the most stressful matter in my office.” Both groups, whatever group you’re in, if you’re listening to this, I think this will be super valuable. I’ll tell you that second group, you know, I know a lot of things that Kenny and his team do to use technology as a leveraging IT in a way which helps, which is a competitive advantage for your practice, you know, and not something that holds you back. The many clients we consult with on the healthcare side, and even some listeners on this podcast technology is a hurdle, not an advantage, right?
Jordan Smith: So tell us about your most successful clients. Can you share your methodology, the types of folks you like to work with that type of stuff for our listeners?
Kenny Kinley: Absolutely. I think the best types of clients for us are ones that, as you just said, Jordan can appreciate the need for technology and how they can leverage that as a differentiator in their business. So we work with many clinic systems and hospitals that understand what a critical part IT plays in their business. And it’s not a necessary evil, as you described in that first group. Those are the clients that we work with the best. When we call ourselves Edafio Technology Partners, that partner piece is essential because our core values are committed to client success. We see ourselves as an extension of our clients’ team. We will be on-site with that client, and we know their business. You’ll see us walking the halls, and for a lot of our clients, we wear their badge use their email address. We’re are an extension of their workforce. We can be visible, be a partner, and not just a vendor. Those are the best types of clients for us and where we’re most successful.
We typically start with an assessment of some kind. In most situations, a client calls or a prospect calls, and they’ve got an issue, right. It’s a network issue, or a question about HIPAA, or something similar around EMR. Our typical engagement starts around a pain point. And then, as a part of that, we can help paint a picture for a roadmap. As you said, here’s a symptom, right? It may be a network issue, but here’s the start of more of a roadmap for your technology needs. When I started nine years ago, EMR was still relatively new, and people were trying to figure out how to get around this? And what’s the least amount of information I need to enter to be compliant? And here we are nine years later, and it’s an integral part of organizations systems. And so we find that if we’re able to get in there and help them understand that technology is an enabler to their business. That seems to work better.
Jordan Smith: That’s great. I know we talked about this all the time, you know, so many practices, doctors, and offices are busy, but it doesn’t quite hash out whenever you look at the bottom line. Another way to say that is they’re busy, but they’re not profitable, right? And sometimes you look at it and say, Well, how can we be profitable when we need more patients? Well, we can’t do more patients, everybody’s as busy as they could be. So when a situation like that, kind of what’s advice that you would give if there’s a listener out there, and that’s what they’re dealing with, which is, Kenny, I hear all that sounds great, I’m busy, but we’re just not profitable. What’s the first step that you would have him take?
Kenny Kinley: And that’s precisely why we started this healthcare consulting practice five years ago to help some of our existing clients who were having those pain points. So, you know, they were just trying to get through the day and see the patients and do the documentation they had to do. And just like you said, just barely get through. We built this team to come alongside them for a relatively small number of hours and financial commitment, to say, let’s look at maximizing these compliance programs. Many of these practices leave money on the table because they don’t have time to maximize Medicare or other payer programs. Also, doing basic things, like chart reviews, it’s easy to code something incorrectly – entering a two when it should be a three or three when it should be a four. We built this practice to have our team come alongside and help maximize their profits. These days, even a pointer to a margin can have a significant impact on your business. One level in a compliance program or 10% of your chart reviews, moving up and up a class can have huge returns. Also, around EMR consulting on how to use those systems best – we’ve got some expertise. We hear a lot from physicians and nurses is “we can’t see as many patients because of the EMR.” These systems have come a long way in the last nine years. We want to assist and institute workflows and templates. These fundamental things will bring more efficiency and patience? We help maximize the programs out there to make sure clinics get paid for what they do.
Jordan Smith: I love that, especially the point about the EMR. You know, the purpose of that thing is to make your office more efficient, not to slow things down, right?
Kenny Kinley: I remember vividly, so I was fortunate enough to work on-site with one of our clients for many years in their technology department. I got to interface with many physicians, which was hugely valuable for me to understand those pain points. I would have them tell me I can see 20% fewer patients now because of this system. And, you know, we were able to go back to the vendor and say, okay, this doesn’t seem right, you know, you’re supposed to see 20% more patients.
We also find that they don’t have time to call that EMR vendor or request a consultant, especially in these smaller practices. We’re able to do we’ll say, okay, we’ll be your frontline support. Let us call e-clinical, pick your example, MD, whoever, and we’ll deal with him for you. And we’ll help you build those workflows or build those templates. So, as you said, a lot of it is just time, so that’s where we like to try to help make those tasks more efficient.
Jordan Smith: Time is the most valuable resource in any organization, and from a healthcare perspective, even more so.
How often is the practice administrator or the front desk person on hold with Comcast or, you know, the printing vendor?
So talk a little bit about kind of time utilization for those practices out there that don’t know where to start, or they’re not keeping track of it, or they know that they are the people who are spending a lot of time doing stuff that’s not their job. Especially from a technology standpoint, I feel like that’s where many issues are that talk about. What your mindset is around that.
Kenny Kinley: Yeah, I think it’s all about picking what one or two of those pain points are, whether it’s an internet service provider, or my EMR is too slow, or they’re not responsive. Picking a few of those pain points and getting help, whether that’s a company like Edafio or a different company, there are several good IT companies in Arkansas, but find someone to come in and give you some perspective is necessary. Because so many advances have been made in systems and things like internet service providers, right? Those costs and circumstances change all the time. EMR companies are coming out with updates and new features, and I don’t know how practices can stay on top of these changes without getting some outside help. My advice is to pick a couple of those pain points. Use them as a starting point, bring in some help and then start to chip away at it. Because it takes time, it does. It takes time to dedicate the right resources to those things.
Jordan Smith: And we’re big believers in consultants. And we all know the best consultants are just the ones who don’t come in with numerous solutions. But instead, they come in with a bunch of questions.
Kenny Kinley: Yep, exactly. Valerie talked about the Quality Strategy Assessment and that’s what all that is. It is a laundry list of questions.
- Who are your payers?
- What’s the mix?
- What programs do you use?
The word consultant has gotten a bad rap over the years. But I agree with you a consultant is supposed to be someone who comes alongside and helps make you more efficient and more profitable. The challenge our team faces all the time is if we can’t show our client the value of what we do or the value of that hour we spent on them – for them, we’ve done something wrong. The part is making sure whoever you pick for a partner, that when you see them, you don’t see it into the call center, you see them as somebody who’s going to help make us more efficient and make us more money, you know, help us see more patients. That’s what a good consultant does.
Jordan Smith: Yeah. And from there kind of, you know, develop out which is, which is nice. I like your five pillars because they cover many different areas, depending on where the need is in practice. And one of those needs that we haven’t touched on yet, but I know it is a big deal. Unfortunately, more often than not, many practices don’t think about it until it’s too late, which is that security aspect.
Kenny Kinley: Absolutely. I think that’s probably my biggest fear for all companies, including Edafio, that is cybersecurity risks. There is so much going on in this space right now, and healthcare is under attack in particular.
They know that some of these clinics and practices and hospitals aren’t spending the money on cyber that maybe they should be paying. The bad actors are going after physicians and clinical staff, targeting them with the cyber-attacks through just basic things like phishing emails and text messages. But also, through more sophisticated attacks, we only see more and more of that. Two years ago, they were targeting more sophisticated systems. They were going after these large healthcare systems. Well, now the bad guys have figured out that they can go after the small clinics as well. And it may not be a big payday. Still, they are finding it’s easier to do. They’ve come a long way from just asking you to send $100 gift cards, which was the thing a few years ago.
We see that they are going after the finance department with a very targeted email to that billing person that looks very much like it came from the physician and saying, “Hey, I need you to wire money here.”
The precision of it right now is terrifying. So we’re encouraging our clients to implement a more robust security risk assessment. When Meaningful Use came out, they required an annual security risk assessment. Well, what we see is most clinics do the path of least resistance. What’s the cheapest way I can check this box? And so it was a checklist. I mean, I saw it when I was on-site with a client. Well, it doesn’t protect you, you may get to check the box. But one of the things we challenged ourselves is to what can we do in an affordable way for an annual security risk assessment that adds how we can scan their network and make sure there’s nothing wrong out there? How can we do walkthroughs and make sure that people don’t have their passwords written on sticky notes? Which you’d be surprised how much that happens. What is the policy review? We’ve gone from a time Jordan, where it’s not if I’m going to be hit or if I’m going to be attacked. The question is, when and what protocols do you put in place to protect yourselves? Suppose you have an issue, and you’ve got some reportable offense that OCR comes in to review. In that case, you can say, okay, we took every precaution we did a robust security risk assessment, here are all the things we did not, we have an issue, and we have to report to 500 patients, which is everybody’s worst nightmare. OCR comes in and says, “Well, you didn’t do anything, you know, you didn’t try to prevent this.”
That’s my biggest fear for the clinics across the country right now is making sure they’re as protected as they can be.
Jordan Smith: Hmm, that’s a great point. I want to hit on something that you said, to which I want to make sure that we don’t gloss over, which is these things aren’t just happening to giant healthcare networks. Right? Yeah, the attacks are more specific. And they’re getting more intricate every day. But, but they’re also not straightforward as far as who they target. Right. And, and, you know, I’ve heard that a lot from, you know, Valerie, and, and some other people that I’ve talked to the organization. Talk about how that works, and offer some specific examples for listeners on what they should look out for?
Kenny Kinley: They are targeting physicians, and I’ll tell you this specific thing. Let me take a quick sidebar, so I don’t forget, which has nothing to do with Edafio or any technology company. Everybody needs to make sure they’ve got cyber insurance. Okay, that may be the most important thing I say here on this podcast.
And it’s not a commercial. We don’t do that. Talk to your insurance agent. But we’re in a time now where every clinic, regardless of size, needs some cyber insurance policy, because like I said, it’s a matter of when. And so if there’s an attack, and you’ve got to disclose, I mean, those are door closing events, if you don’t have the proper insurance to help you. Sorry for the sidebar there, but I wanted to get that grade because you have a cyber insurance policy and whatever you think you need, triple it. It’s pretty affordable right now. It’s getting better to ask a lot of questions. Because I think that’s important.
Kenny Kinley: I think the scariest part of it is the most significant risk we call the human firewall, right? I mean, that’s, it’s that individual that gets that email, and they’re at work on a computer. And they’re checking either their work email or even their personal Gmail account, and they get a phishing attack. They click the link, or they download the document. And then that machine’s infected, and then it spreads into the network. And you’ve got, you know, patient data at risk, right, you’ve got patient data all over the place. And so that that human firewall is the most significant risk to your practice.
Everybody’s guilty of it. It’s hard, right? We all get those daily now. And so I think that’s probably the most significant risk, regardless of size. The interesting thing is we see more and more targeting, specifically to physicians. These attackers will go after these physicians because they know they’re busy. They’re already getting bombarded with 100 emails an hour and so trying to slip stuff through because if they can get into those systems, they can get into the whole network. We see now is a very targeted attempt at physicians and office managers as well. So I think things like security training is one of the things we’re where we say the most of our clients are asking us for security awareness training. There’s so much good stuff out there to train your users, and it not only protects your organization, but it also protects the individuals in your practice, right? Because they’re not just trying to get to the clinic’s financials. They’re trying to get those individuals’ passwords and bank account numbers and passwords as well. Such things as security awareness training are becoming mandatory. We’re moving into a time, and I don’t think we’re too far away, Jordan, where we probably won’t do business with a client that won’t agree to do some security awareness training because it’s so important to protect their business. And then the second thing is multi-factor authentication, you know, on your accounts. It asks for that second level of authorization by sending you a text message to enter the code into that website. You see that on all your banks and credit cards and insurance and 401k programs. And that’s becoming the default.
You need to have that for your set your clinic systems as well. So again, like security, awareness training and MFA’s, it won’t solve everything, but at least it’s another layer of protection that we’re seeing more and more of our clients adopting. And just like security awareness, we’re moving to a day where we might not do business with a client if they’re not willing to do multi-factor authentication because it protects them and us as well. So those would be the two big things we were seeing. And I just think what used to be security awareness training and multi-factor authentication used to be nice to have. It’s- that’s over now, it’s required. I mean, it must be necessary to protect your business.
Jordan Smith: Again, for all the listeners out there, imagine this scenario. If this does happen, imagine your office having to reach out to every patient that you have to them that their information has been compromised because somebody hacked into the clinic’s system.
Kenny Kinley: And I think we can have things in, you know, going back to the insurance, and you can help cover the cost of that. But the real the, I guess the unquantifiable issue is what that does to your patient population, right, do they? Do you lose patience over it? And they go to another provider? So it’s not only just a financial impact, that you’re- how you’re viewed to the market as well. So it’s a big deal.
Jordan Smith: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, same reason, health insurance is essential. It’s, you know, the same thing with the health of your business. And this is, this is an integral part of that. So I know you guys have the five pillars. You see, we’ve talked about a couple of them specifically. And I know it probably depends on where the practice is. But talk to me a little bit about taking accountability, not only for the symptom but the underlying issue. Tell me, typically, whenever you guys partner with an organization. If there’s a doctor out there provider who’s listening, how involved are the most successful doctors you guys partner with? Are they in every single meeting? A handoff is, and I know, again, it depends on the service you guys offer them, but typically talk a little bit about how involved these providers and the owners are in the processes we’re talking about?
Kenny Kinley: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. Whether it’s healthcare consulting or cybersecurity consulting, we believe in a meeting cadence where we meet with our clients and talk to them about what’s going on. At a minimum, we have quarterly reviews where we’re reviewing where we are, what happened last quarter, here’s what happened, and here’s what’s coming up on the docket for this quarter. A quarterly business review with business owners at a minimum is when we find that our clients’ are successful.
Ideally, we recommend a monthly rhythm, where businesses are willing to invest in a company like ours for an hour to say, “Okay, here’s where we are against these compliance programs, we moved you up to this level, or we moved your reimbursement up to this, here’s what we saw on the chart with this.
Here’s some security training. An hour a month, which is a lot of time for a physician to agree, but we maintain the best clients see the value, and they want to sit down with us and ask questions about cyber.
And what’s interesting is those questions then turn into more personal problems. They ask about their home and personal accounts, and then we end up talking about password-protection tools. What we find is, if they’re willing to give us that time, we can not only add value to their practice, but we’ve been known to go outside and help somebody get their home internet more secure. The more visibility, the better. But the best ones provide us an hour a month to see what we’re doing and what’s coming up.
Jordan Smith: Yeah, and I would say if you’re a listener out there, whether you’re already working with a group that you love, great. Suppose you’re looking for something, like what Kenny’s talking about
When vetting organizations to partner with, ask them what your time investment is? That’s one of the primary questions on the front end. And I would agree with you, Kenny, that part of it is accountability, and the other part of it is the time investment.
Kenny Kinley: And I think we can make a difference. I know. Valerie talked a little bit about this to Jordan. But, you know, our kind of minimum, regardless of clinic size, is four hours a month of this healthcare consulting to look at the compliance program the chart using, and that may not seem like a lot, but this team can get a lot done in a small amount of time. And yeah, once you get on that cadence, if it’s an hour a week, or maybe it’s a half-day, a month, you can get a lot of progress done. Those are the kinds of things, like you said, time is the most valuable asset. So we try to minimize that. We try to take care of things as much as possible. But you’re right, the owners, the physician’s office managers, who will give us that time to meet are the best clients for us.
Jordan Smith: Sure. The strategies and the implementation that you guys talk about in that hour are not unreasonable. Where you talk about the 10s of hours that will save the practice, with your team figuring out the best tactics to help alleviate the time, challenge or whatever the case may be.
So you know, aren’t you? Let’s talk about the specifics. What are some of the key things you look for to say, “I think we can make a difference in this practice?”
- Is it the size of the practice?
- Is it the type of specialty that they have?
- Is it the type of technology type of EMRs?
What are some specific things that you look for, and when do you feel it is a good fit and Edafio can make a difference here?
Kenny Kinley: I think it is based on the pillars that are needed. So if it’s healthcare consulting, we can deal with any size practice. For that, it is a minimum of four hours a month. We can make a significant impact to help them maximize those programs—any size clinic on the healthcare consulting side, and the same for cyber. Implement an annual security risk assessment and invest in some basic security awareness training. Cyber in our healthcare practices, any size makes sense.
Now, as you talk about things like cloud, you know, that’s where clinics need to be a little bit larger if they’re interested in moving to more of a cloud-based model if they’re using an on-prem server for an EMR. They want to say, “Okay, I want to go to the cloud, I want to get out of having this server in this closet, or my whole EMR system under the office manager’s desk, I want to consider the cloud.”
Those are typically a little bit larger practices. We see a lot of clinics moving to their EMRs companies to a cloud solution. That seems to be a trend. If you’re happy with your EMR, and you think, “I’m not planning to change this in the next three to five years, that’s a fair decision. Our team does a good job supporting that. The caution would be if you’re not happy with it, or you think, “Hey, I may want to switch or my practice is going to grow into other clinical areas, and I need a more robust EMR,” I would caution you against going into those EMR cloud solutions because it’s tough to get it back.
They design it that way, which is part of their business. So the cloud pace is typically a little bit larger. You’re ready to host several clinic EMR systems in our cloud. So we have several clients who said, “Hey, I want to get out of this on-prem, I know this is not secure, I know my office could get flooded or whatever. But I’m not ready to go to the public cloud. I’m not prepared to go to Azure or AWS. Do I have a middle ground option? Yes, you do.
With the Edafio Cloud, we host CMDS and Eclinicalworks. We host various EMRs in our private cloud, and it’s in a local data center. If we need to get the data out for something we can if you want to transition to a new EMR, we can do that. So those cloud clients are typically slightly larger, but we’re seeing even the smaller clients who are becoming more interested in the cloud option.
And then definitely the IT consulting in the managed services are typically larger. They need a team because they’ve outgrown their one IT person or the smaller managed service company. Larger clinic systems, multiple locations, and sometimes multiple EMRs, Two pillars around IT consulting and IT managed services, are typically larger clinic systems and even small to medium-sized hospitals.
Jordan Smith: Gotcha. You know, you mentioned some particular things that people should look out for whenever they’re looking at a cloud provider. If they’re thinking about whether it’s a managed IT company or somebody that’s looking for cybersecurity? What are the three or four essential questions to ask? There are some listeners out there saying, that’s great. I love all that. I don’t know how to hire an IT or a cybersecurity advisor. I don’t know how to hire an IT manager.
What are some questions that you would ask? A top-five list of questions, what could you arm some practices with to say make sure this is on your list?
Kenny Kinley: Absolutely. One is to check references. It would be best if you found a clinic that is your size, or larger, or that may be on your EMR. If you’re an AMD shop, find someone that supports those similar systems. Reference checks that seem to be a lost art Jordan. People don’t check references. I think that’s crazy, We live in a small community, and everybody knows everybody in your community, wherever you are. Find some people who know about that company. Reference checks are a huge deal.
The other part is to ensure that you understand what’s in the agreements or proposals. If managed companies talk in techno-speak, using acronyms and words that only we know, the client will not understand that. Ask questions until you are 100% comfortable and ensure that the contract’s wording is in business terms. What are the things that you comprehend? And don’t just gloss over it. We see a lot of our clients say, “Hey, I don’t understand technology. I trust you guys to handle it.”
Well, if you’ve had a relationship with a company like us for ten years, that’s fine. But if you’re looking for a new company, you know, check references, and make sure the words in the agreement you signed make sense to you. Also, having a bench. We see this a lot where clients have somebody they go to work with an IT company, and they have a person. But ask those questions like, what happens when they go on vacation or what happens when I have several different needs? Understanding the breadth of services from your IT company upfront, it’s imperative too.
Jordan Smith: I think those are great tips. And, and a group like you guys where you’ve got that healthcare consulting pillar. There’s nothing that says that they can’t start with you all. Call you and say, here’s what I’m looking for. Like Valerie, the first conversation is always free, and it doesn’t hurt to reach out and talk to us. And we’ll give you a checklist that will tell you what to ask, what not to ask what to look out for. But you know that that is important. So I think those are great tips. I would add, I would add one more to it. We talked about it all the time. Mission and core values pick an organization that they don’t have to have the same ones as you, but you know, if they’re similar. And Kenny, I know I’ve heard you mentioned this too, finds partners that think the way you believe that value, what you value. And even if the way they do things procedurally is a little bit different from how you’ve done it in the past or not quite the way that he would do it. More likely, you’re going to be successful because you guys are talking about the same kind of long term vision. Right?
Kenny Kinley: Trust is so important when you’re talking about your IT company and who you work with. And again, we stress that word partner, you know, we want to be an extension of that team. If they groan every time they see us come in the door, go oh, there’s the IT guys, we’re not doing the right job, or that’s not the right client for us. I mean, we want to be an extension of their team. So trust is significant.
What to look for in a managed service partner:
2. Check references
3. Alignment on core values
4. Clarity and understanding of the breadth of services from the IT provider
5. Mutual and consistent communication and accountabilityKenny Kinley
Jordan Smith: So you mentioned something that I want to circle back around to, which I think is very important. And hopefully, the listeners believe it as to which is, is tracking that progress. And I know you talked about those monthly meetings. We talk about KPIs all the time, key performance indicators. You know, in the IT world, sometimes that’s a little bit fuzzy. How do you track progress and outcomes? I know that’s a part of the framework. What would you tell listeners out there to look out for from security, cloud or IT infrastructure? What are some KPIs that you’d have them pay attention to?
Kenny Kinley: I think the big thing around the technology space, so on the healthcare consulting side, right, compliance, that’s easier to measure, right? Am I increasing my scores? Are my average chart levels going up? You know, I think the KPIs or are we improving? Right? Are we increasing the reimbursement or the compliance program? So those things are a little more black and white? I think about something like cyber or even just managed IT services. What is the roadmap? Here is the one to the three-year plan, and then every quarter, or ideally, every month. Are we making progress towards accomplishing these goals? That’s just basic stuff, Jordan, but it’s incredible how often we can’t get clients to even meet with us to talk about it. We said we’re going to accomplish these three things.
We’re going to finish this network upgrade, we’re going to patch these servers, and we’re going to upgrade these workstations, and let’s meet next month and see how we’re going to do, and then clients say, “Well, we trusted you guys go do that.”
My advice would be, we appreciate the trust. I would encourage people listening to do, like you, hold your staff accountable. Hold your partners and vendors responsible for things that they’re going to get done. Get into that rhythm and say, “Okay, here are the three things we said we’re going to get done. When we sit down next month, we completed two, but we hit a little bit of a snag on this one. We’re going to fix this one, but it’ll be done next month.
I mean, it doesn’t have to be perfect. But I think going back to cadence and just making sure that you’re clear is the physician, the owner, or the office manager? Are we moving in the right direction? Are we making progress? Because there’s no pain out there that you can fix overnight, right?
Have the pains that you identify the symptoms, as you said initially. They take time to resolve. It could take months to resolve some of these. But to me, the most important thing is, are you making progress? Do you feel like you’re making progress to getting those things resolved?
Jordan Smith: Oh, that’s a good point. Because you know, what I think about my IT company, a call him when something’s broken, they come out, and they fix it. Alright, Job well done. But you know, take that to another step. Because whether it’s, again, whether it’s Kenny and his group, or the current group that you’re working with, and you know, your golfing buddy that you love that helps you out, sit down and figure out what some KPIs are, you know? I guarantee that most people are not leveraging their technology partner as they should be.
So let’s say another scenario, real quick before we get into the final round. And we’re asking a couple of specific questions about your path and your success. Because I know all the listeners out there, you know, it’s essential to hear your story at least.
We’ve got an audience of practice managers, CFOs, CEOs, and doctors listening and saying, Kenny speaks in my language. I’ve got five doctors that I’ve got to convince to get buy-in from the rest of your team. What are some tips to say on how to start to get buy-in from the group? You need things like cybersecurity, or you need to investigate what your cloud solution is.
Kenny Kinley: Yeah, great, great question. The key is to bring people to those decision-makers; what we see is a lot of office managers are different people. They don’t want to get a company like us to their physician meeting or their board meeting because they feel like it makes them seem like they’re not doing their job. And what I would encourage them to do is think about that a little bit differently. cyber, IT services, even these compliance programs can be complicated. I don’t know how you could stay on top of all that. Suppress the ego a little bit and let people like us help. Let us have that conversation because when we’re able to get in front of those physicians or the Board of Directors, we can speak that language with that credibility that it’s just tough for other people to do. My recommendation is to let us help or let another IT company do that. Now, the caveat to that is you’ve got to make sure you don’t go in there and speak a bunch of techno language the decision-makers don’t understand. Hopefully, if you pick the right company, those things will work. But that would be my one encouragement is to bring the experts to those decision-makers. Don’t try to be a buffer.
Jordan Smith: Now, It’s an “if” you believe in what we’re saying, Don’t, don’t sell us, let us sell us. You know, I wouldn’t send a surrogate to somebody’s parents that I wanted to give an engagement ring to; I would sit with those parents. And it’s the same in business. It’s just basic relationship stuff. All right, Kenny, I’m going to turn the spotlight on you now. So this is what we call our final round; I’m going to ask you two or three specific questions, just about you and, and, and kind of your path. You know, we, we always talk about, we all want a silver bullet, but there are no silver bullets, just lots of dead ones, you know. Typically, an organization that success is built off one where they’re systematic, predictable, repeatable processes that have an organization to where they are. I want to ask what your recipe for success is? What are the ingredients you practice within your organization, and maybe even yourself personally, to make sure that adelphia technology partners are moving in the direction you want to move them?
Kenny Kinley: Sure, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to speak to groups over the years and, you know, always go back, if I had to pick one thing, if I look back at my career, it is to build a network of mentors. I can’t begin to tell you, Jordan, how important that’s been for me in my, in my work life, you know, starting in my early 20s and now late 40s. I’ve always been blessed to have a great group of people around me that know more than I do about specific topics. And so I would tell you that be- be humble enough to go sit down in front of somebody who’s a little ahead of you and say, Tell me how you handled this and tell me what you did. You’d be shocked at how many times I do that in a given month, right? Whether it’s parenting tips, how to be a better husband, or being a CEO. You know, I think that would be the thing that and I just don’t think many people do that. And so if you’re, you know, if you’re an office manager of a five dot clinic, go find an office manager of a 20 dot clinic, that you know, and trust and respect that you’ve heard good things about, and say, you know, tell me how you do this. And so that would be my if I had to pick one on a personal note. And I look back and say, what’s been the most impactful for me is those mentors. And what’s interesting now is I’m in my late 40s. Now I’m getting to do that more and more, right. So I know I get to be that mentor. Mentees are coming to me and asking me, though, so it’s really neat to be at this phase, where I’m doing both. I’m going and seeking advice a lot from people, but now I’m also in a position where I’m giving it, so that’s been kind of cool.
Jordan Smith: It’s whatever situation you’re dealing with in your business. I guarantee 100 other people out there within reach have dealt with that same problem and found a solution, whether it’s implementing their solution or just talking it out with somebody. You know, we a lot of kind of providers, and even office managers, you know, you sort of thing that you’re on an island, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, it just seems like I’m the only one who’s doing this. I got to create my path. No, be vulnerable, open yourself up. Oh, all it takes is an ask, you know, you’d be surprised what type of input you’ll get by just opening yourself up, picking up the phone, shoot an email connecting on LinkedIn, whatever. Just asking someone for help, right?
Kenny Kinley: I think on the work front, and if I had to pick one, we’ve adopted this. I moved into the CEO role in January, and what is this year, and so what I know about myself is I’m not the most disciplined person I know. I’m all about whatever the issue is of the day. And let’s talk about that. So I recognize that about myself. And so we adopted this methodology called Traction. It’s a book from Gino Whickman called Traction, and it’s EOS, the entrepreneur operating system. And I can’t begin to tell you how impactful that’s been for our business and me personally to have quarterly rocks and have a what they call a level 10 meeting cadence and the set annual goals and five years ago. So we’ve adopted that to be the Edafio Operating System. And it’s been very valuable. So I would recommend, especially if you’re in that entrepreneurial class you described, grab that book. There are several in the series, but we’re big fans of the EOS stuff here; you can get an EOS consultant to help you, which is what we did to start. But that’s been big for us this year, especially with all the craziness in our world, to help keep us on track, keep us focused. So from a business perspective, I would highly recommend you check that out.
Jordan Smith: We’re big believers. So iProv as a company, I agree with you. We were about four or five years ago, we read that book as a leadership team, and they decided to have a company-wide book club. We went through it and started implementing those. So yeah, I mean, there are so many organizations out there that don’t have an operating system for the organization the same way you’ve got to kind of operational strategies for collections and billing and that type of stuff. You also need to have one for, you know, your leadership team regarding how the organization operates. So I would second bet tractions a great book. I’d go out and buy it yesterday, you know? And I think I always know if, if, and with this question, whenever people ask me if there’s a magic reset button, what would you go back and do earlier than you did? I know, that’s one thing that I always say I would do? I think you would probably say the same thing, implement something like that sooner. If there are listeners who are starting their organization, or they’re thinking about are in there? What’s one thing you would say in your career where you could go back and hit a reset button and change one thing? What would that be?
Kenny Kinley: Oh, for me, it would be to figure out this work-life balance sooner in life. I waited too late to figure that out. And so I’m in the right place now with it and have been for several years. But I think that you know, figuring out what those boundaries are, what you’re willing to give. What’s your will? What you need and it’s different for everyone, right? Some people can work 60 hours a week, and they’re still great spouses and parents. So it’s not a one size fits all, you know, I need to be home by 5:30- everyday. That’s not it, because we’re all wired differently. But I would say I was late to the game, Jordan, figuring out what my mix was, what my wife’s tolerance level for that was. So you know, it took me too long to figure that out. And so I would say figure that out early to understand your balance, have that conversation with your spouse and with your kids for that matter. And figure out what that is, and then live that. So that would be my miss that I was a little too late to the game on. But I’m in a good place right now.
Jordan Smith: Well, Kenny, I think that’s a great tip. And that’s one that we haven’t heard on the podcast before. But I think it’s, I think it’s important is just being honest with yourself and other people in your life about, we talk all the time about what success looks like for the business. But what does it look like, you know? And what’s it mean for you and your family? And maybe it’s more three day weekends instead of those 60-hour work. And that’s fine, too. It’s just about finding that balance. So I would agree with you 100%. Kenny, I think that’s a great kind of closing tip that we can leave for all the listeners out there. So well, wrapping up. Let’s do this. How if people listen to this and are interested in Edafio Technology Partners or even more about you, what are some ways to get more information? How could they reach out to you personally if they’ve got additional questions? Talk to that. And we’ll include all these links in the show notes as well, but tell them how they can get in touch with you and your company, Kenny.
Kenny Kinley: You bet. The best way to get to us as a company is our newly renovated website by our awesome Marketing Director, Melissa. So that’s the easiest way to get to us. You can follow us on all the social media platforms as well. She does a great job with all that. And probably the best way for me personally is my LinkedIn profile. I don’t do any other social media. Jordan, so Linkedin is all I have. So if you want to get me, that’s probably the best way.
Jordan Smith: Smart man.
Kenny Kinley: Yeah, that’s part of that family work-life balance. Or you can send me an email too at email@example.com.
Jordan Smith: Wow. No, that’s generous giving out that email. Well, we’ll include all those links down there too. And I’ll tell you guys, Edafio Technology Partners, if you’ve got a group that you like and that you’re working with, that’s great. I would still reach out to them. You know, they’ve talked about a lot of different stuff. No one personally, some other people in the organization, but some folks have worked with you. We talked about references, always have great things to say. And there’s still additional value that Edafio Technology Partners can bring to the table, even if it’s just a 30-minute conversation, to pick their brain and ask them some questions and make sure that you and your guys are on the right path. So, Kenny Kinley, I appreciate it so much. I know we’re listeners do too.
I look forward to talking to you more on a personal note. Thank you.
Kenny Kinley: Nice, I enjoyed it. Thanks for the invite.
Jordan Smith: Alright, everybody, Kenny Kinley with Edafio Technology Partners. So again, you know, I teased it, in the beginning, a lot about what makes the best type of practice or organization profitable isn’t just new business, but the things behind the scenes that help support the business. So again, if you got any questions if you wish to learn more about Kenny’s story, or you’re listening, you say, man, I’d love to bring in a group like Edafio Technology Partners to check out. Give my practice a health check. I would encourage you to reach out to him. If you have any questions, let us know if you’ve got topic ideas or different types of people from various industries that you’d like to hear their perspective on. Let us know, as well. We got in touch with Edafio way back because a listener reached out and said, hey, you guys should talk a talk to this aspect of running a practice because it’s one of the more important ones, especially these days, so drop us a like, comment, share this with a friend.