Public Relations program correlates to sales and business development momentum for Halfpenny Technologies

By Dodge Communications on September 15th, 2011

Jerry Baker is CEO of Halfpenny Technologies, a leading provider of clinical data exchange solutions. Halfpenny has been a Dodge Communications client for two and a half years.

Dodge: Can you tell us briefly about Halfpenny Technologies’ history and the mission behind starting the company? 
Baker: Our founder, Charles Halfpenny, was a pioneer in developing clinical applications for physicians – applications that were the predecessors of EHR systems. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he developed Dr. Chart, which is very similar to today’s EHRs. Charles sold that company in the late 1990s and founded Halfpenny Technologies in 2000. Because of his experience with Dr. Chart, he realized that the biggest challenge once a clinical application has been installed in an ambulatory environment is achieving connectivity with other clinical and financial systems. Because 80 percent of data reside outside of the walls of the physician’s office, a reliable and secure way to exchange data is crucial. The first generation of Halfpenny’s lab platform, ITF (Integration Technology Framework), was developed in 2001 to facilitate data exchange between physician EHR systems and laboratory information systems. Currently, some 400 EHR applications are vying for meaningful use, and seeking to achieve connectivity with laboratories and other entities such as health plans.

Dodge: Can you elaborate on your business model and the company’s plan for the next five years?
Baker: Halfpenny plans on evolving what is now a lab-focused hub into a more comprehensive diagnostics hub. This hub will include adjacent ancillary areas such as radiology, cardiology, discharge summaries and other familiar transactions that require middleware in order for data to be exchanged between disparate systems – in other words, to achieve interoperability. Our main focus is building on our foundation of facilitating lab transactions that cannot be readily exchanged without some kind of translation (or normalization of data) between systems.

Dodge: How has Dodge Communications helped you with your public relations needs over the last several years?
Baker: Dodge has helped us create brand awareness in a very professional, polished and credible way. This has allowed us to focus our efforts on building out our technology and services, and on the sales of our solutions. Dodge has handled the lion’s share of our marketing and public relations efforts, and has successfully increased the knowledge of our offerings and capabilities to key stakeholders within the healthcare industry. We could never have hoped to achieve the levels of exposure through published feature articles, case studies, media interviews and news releases without a partner like Dodge.

Dodge: Thanks, Jerry. What are some of the accomplishments you have been able to realize through your partnership with Dodge? How have these accomplishments impacted your overall business?
Baker: Dodge’s contribution has been tremendous. Our sales and business development momentum is a key indicator. During each of the past six month periods, we’ve set records for all of our key operating metrics. Our involvement with Dodge and the highly credible exposure we’ve received as a result has been a contributing factor. The Dodge staff consistently demonstrates professional and proficient writing ability, and is able to secure coverage for Halfpenny within top tier HIT and lab publications, which I believe is directly correlated with the increase in our business trajectory. In fact, our second quarter sales were 40 percent higher than they were during the previous quarter – quite a significant accomplishment.

Dodge: So, based on your experience, what advice would you give to other companies that are considering adding public relations to their communications strategy?
Baker: I would urge companies to embrace the concept of engaging in a partnership with a public relations and marketing firm like Dodge – even if they already have a reasonably developed internal marketing department. A dedicated PR firm has the contacts and know-how to enhance the efforts of an existing marketing or communications department, and make it much more effective. I think those are dollars well spent.

Dodge: Any additional comments that you’d like to add?
Baker: Only that I think Dodge has been a tremendous partner for Halfpenny. If you look at Dodge’s track record and the highly credible publications in which they’ve secured editorial placements for Halfpenny during the past several years – well, that speaks volumes.