A Colorado-based medical data company announced Wednesday morning that it would soon begin operations in College Station, with plans to bring about 200 jobs to the Brazos Valley by the end of 2020.
Skywriter MD’s employees offer virtual assistance with patient data entry to physicians and health care providers nationwide, according to founder and CEO Tracy Rue.
Rue said Wednesday that the HIPAA-compliant company, which is based in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, employs people who serve as virtual scribes, interchangeably called skywriters or extenders, who listen in to physicians’ visits with patients via a secure web connection. Those individuals then fill out much of the paperwork and other data that is often otherwise left to physicians to enter.
“We’ve turned our physicians into data clerks,” Rue said. “Up to 50% of their day can be spent in front of a computer. By employing Skywriter, it takes that away and allows them to focus on their patient.”
The extenders, many of whom are pre-med students with medical career aspirations of their own, help providers navigate electronic records, enter data and assist with other tasks during a patient’s visit, Rue said.
Rue founded Skywriter MD in 2015. He said that Blinn College and Texas A&M students with an interest in medical professions proved to be a draw for his company, which looked nationally at a number of potential expansion sites before choosing the Aggieland Business Park, which is just north of Raymond Stotzer Parkway in southwest College Station.
“I was looking for a community that worked well together, and it’s also about resources,” Rue said. “The type of student we like is one who is interested in advancing toward a career in medicine. There are lots of those students here.”
Rue also praised the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation while detailing Skywriter MD’s decision to begin operations in College Station.
“They really rolled out the red carpet and treated us well,” he said. “They were truly interested in who we are, in our successes, and that was the tipping point for us.”
Matt Prochaska, president and CEO of the economic development corporation, praised Skywriter MD’s services and said Wednesday afternoon that for those aspiring to a career in medicine, working for the company as a skywriter or extender could lead to valuable experience.
“This is a stream of young people who are getting their education and at the same time getting experience,” Prochaska said. “It helps our emerging workforce achieve their specific career goals, so everybody wins.
“Skywriter MD’s mission fits beautifully into this community, because here, we are dedicated to helping solve the world’s problems.”
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