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Dublin, Ohio

Michael Morgan of Updox

Meet Michael Morgan, CEO of Updox, a fully-integrated communications platform for independent physician practices. Updox is based in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. 
What is Updox?
Updox is a web-based service that helps independent medical practices communicate more effectively with patients and medical providers. In most medical practices, services like prescription refills are done by paper or fax. Through our platform, all communication shows up electronically, bringing all that paper together in one seamless workflow. With one click, patients can schedule appointments and get their health records. The majority of our clients and family practices and specialists. We have 3,500 physicians using the service, up from about 500 a year-and-a-half ago.
How do you account for this rapid growth?
We are partnered with a number of electronic health records companies. We provide a very good value, and since we got going (in 2009) we've been getting referrals. Physicians really like the product, so we've been able to grow the business.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I worked for Sterling Commerce (a Columbus-based e-commerce company) during the early '90s. It was a great place to learn and grow. I left Sterling and got involved with several successful startups. After six or seven years with an electronic health records company (Netsmart Technologies), I wanted to get back into a startup environment. I joined Updox as an investor 18 months ago.
What state or local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
TechColumbus helped us with seed capital and have been good advisors as we've scaled the business. We also received help from the Innovation Ohio Loan Fund.
What advice do you have for someone starting a company in Columbus?
Make sure you understand what resources are available. There's a great talent pool here of people who have been involved with startups. We've gotten so much good advice on how to build the business and be efficient with capital. 
What inspires you as an entrepreneur?
I've seen the frustrations of how the health care system works. People want to feel like customers, not numbers in a system. Then I hear about the doctors using the service, and they say they're able to operate a better business and provide a higher quality of care. It's so energizing to feel like you're making a difference every day with the physicians and patients using the platform. That part of it is really cool.
What’s next for you and your business?
We're adding physicians at a rapid pace, and should have 6,000 to 7,000 customers by the end of the year. Next is to add new features and products like giving patients access to premier appointments, same-day scheduling and the ability to email physicians directly. Less than 20 percent of doctors engage patients online. Now they will be able to interact with their physicians instead of waiting for a phone call. We're changing the way doctors and patients communicate. When you look at our growth numbers, it's very exciting.

Interview by Douglas J. Guth

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