Over the last 30 years, Dr. Patterson’s lengthy career in medicine has had him traveling the US as well as Germany. Over time, he has worked as a hospital Emergency Room Physician/Administrator, served as a Major in the Air Force as a flight surgeon, and has owned and operated a handful of successful medical practices.
After working for a hospital that recruited him to Huntsville, AL area for a few years, Dr. Patterson decided he would rather be in business for himself again. He saw opportunity in a small town just north of Huntsville called Meridianville, and soon found the practice so busy that he had to quickly expand it. In his haste to get the practice going, he chose a program he had heard of, but found it to be cumbersome to his practice’s busy work flow.
Adjustments to the “Flight Plan”
In the early 1990’s, Dr. Patterson was forced to somewhat “slow down a little” when he had to spend a little time as a hospital patient when the plane he had been flying suffered a mechanical failure and crashed. While he was recuperating, he had time to reflect on a number of the processes in his practice…particularly his current method for medical billing. Joe McGinty, a close family friend that happened to be an engineer by trade, visited him on a regular basis while he was recovering, and somehow, their conversations always made their way back to a concept for a “better practice management software system”.
Dr. Patterson said that “Joe’s son, Ryan, had always demonstrated a keen interest in computer programming and had taught himself to write code at very young age. He’s a very brilliant and talented programmer, and it only seemed natural for him to be involved in helping out.”
Little did anyone know at that time that Ryan’s early efforts towards a vision of no-nonsense medical software as a favor to a good family friend would result in what is now “FlexMedical”.
Dr. Patterson mentioned, “I needed a program that didn’t involve a lot of extra steps to complete the tasks at hand. It had to be effective and yet simple enough for my staff members that were not very familiar with computers. Reporting was important to me so that I could know where my medical biller stood with regards to collecting from patients and the insurance companies. With my previous vendor, if my practice had a problem with filing claims or anything else, it always seemed like we couldn’t get the responsive help we needed. Being involved with FlexMedical changed all of that.”
Jo Lee, a medical biller that eventually came to work for Dr. Patterson, used to work directly with Ryan on a daily basis to help test new features and provide feedback. She comments, “It was refreshing to work with someone that really seemed to care how well the software worked. When our calls were returned and we were asked about FlexMedical from our point of view, it made me feel that Dr. Patterson’s practice mattered as a client. That’s just one of the reasons I felt like I could say “yes” after I had completed my degree and was approached by FlexMedical to come aboard to provide software support and training.”