TMC CEO Rich Tehrani shines the On the Road spotlight on Joe Jackson of Lone Star Communications to talk integrated communication systems, maximizing bedside care for healthcare workers, and Jackson’s confident, unorthodox approach to sales.
Lone Star Communications has been in business for 25 years. The company provides clinical systems integration to healthcare and K-12 education vendors, focusing mainly on large hospitals and full school systems to deliver scalable and integrated systems from conception to installation.
Jackson hinted that the company is in a bit of a renaissance. As the world grows more connected, healthcare and education providers are moving away from analog systems to more fully integrated communications. Lone Star facilitates that change for its clients.
Jackson summed up the change, and Lone Star’s part in it, with an elegant comparison to the telephony landscape of the nineties, when “each of the individual components didn’t talk to each other, or if they did they were proprietary.” Jackson elaborated, saying, “That thinking died off many, many years ago in the telephony world, but some of that thinking still exists today in the healthcare world. So much of our success now is because our strategy from a product development standpoint is all about open connectivity.”
In other words, Jackson compared the existing analog systems to a 12 button calculator, when schools and hospitals really need a morphing, adaptable iPad.
In large hospitals, Jackson explained that Lone Star implements IP based solutions, though its technology is not a traditional part of IP networks. It grants administrators the ability to track nurses, measure how fast workers can get to rooms, and gauge response times. The goal is to maximize hospital efficiency while minimizing risk.
The company is also responding to changes in the healthcare landscape due to the Affordable Care Act. The government now withholds 2 percent of funding from hospitals’ payment; that 2 percent is only deliverable when a hospital achieves certain patient care/satisfaction ratings. Lone Star wants to help hospitals retain that 2 percent withholding.
During the conversation, Jackson also revealed his unorthodox, but ultimately productive, approach to marketing and selling Lone Star’s services. “Instead of the traditional route of sending a salesman to go talk to a customer, and that customer hoping they’re being told the truth, I find it a heck of a lot more productive for the potential buyer to spend time with who they otherwise a few years ago would’ve seen as their competition.” In a proof of his system’s efficiency, he asks them to compare notes. It’s a confident approach that appears to pay off.
Watch the video below to learn more about Lone Star’s integration techniques, the changing landscapes, and Jackson’s ideas on how to help education retroactively integrate their communications systems.