The Nashville area’s most distinctive and fascinating IT entities deliver a certain innovation and impact, positively affecting various industry sectors and — in the process — our region’s economy.
It is perhaps unfortunate that many folks still view information technology as it relates to businesses in Middle Tennessee as an offshoot of the area’s health care sector. And, indeed, some of the companies you will find on our list are health care-oriented.
However, there has long been a robust roster of local IT companies that serve various business sectors.
For example, our list includes companies representing communications, finance, graphic arts, marketing and music business.
Also noteworthy: Seven companies that made the list in 2011 return for another appearance.
Compiling the list was no easy task. But we feel these 25 businesses comprise a stellar group, one that will continue to help drive Nashville’s fast-changing tech scene. Yesterday, we looked at the first eight (listed alphabetically by company) of the 25. Today we look at the next eight.
HCA Information Technology & Services Inc.
Marty Paslick, chief operating officer and senior VP
HCA IT&S provides IT strategy and support for HCA and its 164 hospitals nationwide. The HCA subsidiary has 3,000 employees nationwide, ranking it among the largest — if not the largest — technology organization based in Nashville.
Founded in 1987, HCA IT&S offers “enterprise legacy application maintenance and data processing services.”
Last June, HCA IT&S Chief Operating Officer Marty Paslick became the senior vice president and chief information officer, following the retirement of former Chief Information Officer Noel Brown Williams. Paslick has been with HCA for 27 years, progressing from the manager of clinical systems development to vice president of product development to his COO role with IT&S.
Healthcare Management Systems
Steve Starkey, president and COO
Healthcare Management Systems Inc., develops information technology solutions for community hospitals and specialty health care facilities.
Based in Nashville, HMS boasts an impressive list of clients, including 3M, Certify, IBM and Wolters Kluwer. HMS parent HealthTech Holdings Inc. grabbed headlines in October when it announced the acquisition of Birmingham-based Acuitec LLC.
HMS provides multiple health care services, including account management, ambulatory services, customer support, IT solutions and revenue cycle management, among others.
Of note, the company’s Sentry’s Patient Statement Service helps users save money on postage and mailing costs, while it improves in-house processes via delivery of documents to patients.
In combination with WEBVIEW, Sentry captures an image of each document, marking it with the time and date for proof of mailing. Full transparency allows tracking of the document’s progress — allowing users to see statements immediately and in real time.
HMS President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Starkey previously served as director of information systems at Community Health Systems, as chief information officer at Behavioral Healthcare Corp. and as chief information officer at Ardent Health.
Robert Frist Jr., president and CEO
HealthStream is an online educational platform founded by Frist as NewOrder Media more than 20 years ago. The company’s purpose is to train health care providers to meet compliance standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Joint Commission, a hospital accreditation agency.
Investors have taken to the idea of investing in a company designed to address compliance mandates from oversight groups. HealthStream’s financial success has proven memorable, with its stock having tripled in value since the end of 2009. And this investor confidence continues as HealthStream’s second quarter earnings report further impressed by showing a 32 percent profit increase over the same period the year before.
Earlier this year, company officials decided to put some of those dollars to work. In July, HealthStream agreed to pay more than $4 million for Austin-based Decision Critical, a company that specializes in continuing education and license tracking for health care workers and managers.
As to the future, HealthStream appears to be poised for even greater success, as Frist and company find themselves at the heart of health care reform. New compliance standards such as performance-related reimbursements and the like mean good things for HealthStream.
Scott McQuigg, president and CEO
Media veteran and former business journalist Scott McQuigg has the content part down. In year 2000 — having played the role of writer, editor and publisher — the entrepreneurially minded McQuigg pointed his talents to the health care world and co-founded HealthLeaders, a data and analytics management company based in Nashville.
The idea was to build a company around the need for current health care-related content such as market-derived wellness statistics to keep the industry’s decision makers current in their knowledge of the industry and give them the ground-floor fodder to act with a level of prudence perhaps not before realized. Knowledge is power after all.
In 2005, McQuigg and company took his health care data management expertise to HealthTeacher, an online-based provider of health curriculum programs for K-12 teachers and health educators.
In 2011, HealthTeacher topped the 6 million mark in the numbers of students reached through its online programs. McQuigg told Nashville Post earlier this year that there are now an estimated 10,470 schools, 850 school districts and nearly 35,000 teachers signed on as regular users. According to McQuigg, the company is now working with nine of the 15 largest U.S. school districts.
McQuigg is still mum on revenue earned since starting what appears to be another successful health care-related company. He told Nashville Post that revenue for calendar year 2011 was up 50 percent over 2010 figures.
“Revenue has grown from quarter to quarter,” McQuigg said.
David Linzy, president and CEO
After more than 10 years of providing information consulting, project management, disaster recovery, technical writing and a host of other data center-tied services, LPS continues to impress investors. By the end of 2011, the Nashville–based company recorded $45 million in revenue, continuing a growth spurt begun in 2007. Since that time, annual revenues have risen more than 300 percent.
And with its financial success, LPS has expanded operations at home and abroad. Most recently, Linzy and company forked over $1.46 million for a building — a 28,000-square-foot facility located on more than two acres that will also include a $2 million data center.
Last November, company officials announced their intention to open an office in Atlanta, with hopes of eventually establishing a LPS presence in Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi.
Chris Hefley, founder and CEO
LeanKit Kanban bills its kanbans as providing “a system for visualizing work, making it flow, reducing waste, and maximizing customer value.”
Specifically, the Nashville-based company (which recently opened an office in Nottingham, England, to support users in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland) provides the visual management graphic tools to aid users in building models of any process in just minutes. The visual models are then used to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, while improving delivery date performance.
Automated notifications and RSS feeds, for examples, keep all users aware of work status, regardless of those users’ physical location.
In September, LeanKit announced various improvements, including a feature that allows users to switch from one kanban board to another recently visited board without having to return to the home screen. Similarly, the company announced a feature that allows users to navigate to drill-through or task boards from within the card edit dialog, and not just from the right-click menu.
John Williams, founder
Launched by Middle Tennessee entrepreneurial star John Williams, LogoGarden is a do-it-yourself Web-based branding company that provides customers, by way of the Internet, access to online marketing support, logo and business card design, website creation and related graphic-design services.
Williams, who has a history of web-based entrepreneurship, launched LogoGarden after 15 years of owning a branding firm that served large clients with the capital to pay the fee, which allowed him to help start-ups at no cost. LogoGarden spun out of that, using a largely DIY model for brand creation.
Vern Davenport, CEO
The big news for M*Modal in 2012 was that the private-equity arm of JPMorgan Chase bought the Franklin-based company for about $1.1 billion.
The acquisition came about six months after M*Modal, which develops clinical documentation software, took on its current name on the heels of a summer 2011 $130 million acquisition and about 17 months after the former MedQuist Holdings went public with little fanfare.
Shortly thereafter, M*Modal (a provider of clinical transcription services, clinical documentation workflow solutions, advanced cloud-based speech understanding technology and advanced unstructured data analytics) announced the hiring of Executive Vice President of Sales Mike Etue, a veteran health IT pro who was most recently with OptumInsight, a division of UnitedHealth.
The company characterizes its M*Modal Fluency products as the “first and only cloud-based platform that lend contextual understanding to a physician’s narrative.”
M*Modal boast more than 2,400 customers across the health care continuum — from physicians toiling in small practices to CIOs at major hospital systems.
For fiscal 2011, the company reported year-end earnings of $188 million on revenues of $444 million.