Ken Rosenfeld of eHealth Technologies: Company Culture Critical to Success
“Company culture won’t develop by accident. You have to be proactive and put the effort in.”
— Ken Rosenfeld, CEO, President and Co-Founder, eHealth Technologies
Ken Rosenfeld, Co-Founder, CEO and President of eHealth Technologies, is getting ready to celebrate a milestone for his company: ten years in business. A concept for an innovative health tech company that started with 4 people has now grown to nearly 200 employees. The company improves healthcare delivery by providing hospitals with access to intelligently aggregate clinical records and images for specialty patient referrals, such as cancer, organ transplant, and cardiovascular disease, and others. They currently manage over 12 million pages of medical records, and over a billion images per year.
Rosenfeld began building eHealth Technologies when he relocated from San Francisco to Rochester, New York, and invested everything he had into the company. Since then, Rosenfeld has raised venture capital from Stonehenge, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, and Milestone Venture Partners.
“One of the great advantages to Rochester specifically is that a lot of people have a background in healthcare, which makes recruiting easier. We’ve done very well with finding talent that possess both the tech operational expertise and customer service skills,” says Rosenfeld. “Having a great team depends on who you hire and how you hire them.”
Rosenfeld expressed gratitude for his staff, and revealed that getting to that critical point with finding the right talent to fit eHealth Technologies’ culture took time and effort, yet has been an essential part of the company’s success.
“Culture doesn’t develop by accident,” he says. “You have to be proactive and put the effort in. We have worked hard to build a culture where there’s collaboration, yet decisions aren’t burdened by bureaucracy. For one, we don’t have time for micromanagement. All of our managers are doers, including me. Like everyone else, I’ll take on what needs to be done, whether it is content for marketing or working directly with a customer on their issues. Our culture is rooted in good communication. That includes bringing bad news quickly – before it gets bigger and when we have the best chance for complete remediation.”
One example that came to Rosenfeld’s mind when speaking about communication was when an engineer on the team made a mistake that could have ended up being very costly to the company.
“What ended up happening was that the engineer took responsibility, rallied people around the problem to find a solution, and it was fixed,” shares Rosenfeld. “Instead of berating the person with ‘how could you do that?!’ I said ‘thank you’ and complimented them for taking ownership. Taking action is more celebrated than anything else in our culture. And we constantly strive to reinforce that.”
As Rosenfeld discussed during our interview, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to cultivating a positive work environment. eHealth Technologies recently received a Top Workplaces Award for the greater Rochester area, ranking as the 6th best medium sized workplace, and taking first place in the Management Award category. The award was based solely on an independent survey of his employees, which comes as little surprise given Rosenfeld’s direct and empathetic style of leadership.
“I have regularly scheduled lunches with our employees to ask them what they like and don’t like about the job,” he says. “We take the feedback we receive and implement those changes if we can.”
Beyond employee satisfaction and giving everyone a voice in the company, Rosenfeld has a strong belief that being happy at work isn’t necessarily the pinnacle of success. “It’s not just about being happy with the job. It’s about being respected, and feeling that there is meaning in the work. It’s important for our employees to know how they’re contributing to the company and towards improving the lives of the patients we serve.”
As the company continues to prosper, Rosenfeld is looking forward to their future of incorporating more advanced technology to extract clinical intelligence from patient records, making the referral process more efficient and improving patient care.