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Meet the grad who helps emergency doctors focus on patient care

‘Concordia taught me how to learn in a way that fueled my creativity,’ says Computer Engineering alumnus Hank Hikspoors
July 15, 2019
By Richard Burnett

Hank Hikspoors, BEng 93 As T-System’s CTO, Hank Hikspoors, BEng 93, and his team develop documentation solutions that allow emergency departments and urgent care centers to focus on what’s most important – patient care.

Hank Hikspoors, BEng (comp. eng.) 93, is chief technology officer for T-System, a U.S.-based health-care IT company focused on providing innovative solutions to emergency departments and urgent-care centres.

Some 40 per cent of hospital emergency departments in the United States – more than 1,900 facilities – rely on T-System solutions. The company provides ER documentation, coding software and services for hospitals and urgent-care clinics, responding to clinical, financial, operational and regulatory challenges.

As CTO, Hikspoors is right there on the front lines of developing healthcare IT solutions.

What does T-System do?

Hank Hikspoors: “We specialize in documentation solutions that allow emergency departments and urgent-care centres to focus on what’s most important – patient care. With our support, health-care professionals are able to spend more time with patients and don’t have to spend as much time worrying about back-end processes. We provide the tools to track patients from the point where they enter the hospital to when they’re discharged. With several product offerings built by health-care providers, for health-care providers, T-System has been proven to meet the clinical needs of urgent care and emergency medicine for more than 22 years.

“Our sister company, RevCycle+ offers a product that tracks the revenue cycle, which is the billing side of the health-care industry in the U.S. It uses a compliance-driven and quality-focused approach to help facilities recognize the revenue they have earned based on the care that was provided.

Hank Hikspoors BEng 93 “Some universities make their students memorize the foundations, but Concordia made me learn the foundations,” says Hikspoors.

What do you do as CTO?

Hikspoors: As my CEO says, I am in charge of everything technical: software development for our product lines, client and customer support, implementation, interfacing, IT and all the infrastructure that supports our business. I am committed to delivering solutions to our customers that leverage innovative technology to meet key clinical and financial challenges for emergency medicine, urgent-care centres and hospitals across the U.S.

What motivates you?

Hikspoors:  Anything innovative, like computer engineering, really gets me motivated, which is why my role as CTO is a perfect fit. My other big motivation is taking care of patients. Our products make doctors and medical staff more productive, so they can focus on what’s most important – treating their patients – instead of spending hours on documentation or worrying about how they will get paid for the services they provide. By lending a hand in this capacity, I feel we are giving back and helping create a stronger, healthier community.

What does it take to succeed in your field?

Hikspoors:  From my perspective, there are four components. First, you need a good base knowledge of technology and how technology advances can be used in the workflows of health-care professionals to improve patient care. Second, your ability to learn is also very important because the industry is constantly evolving. If you cannot learn, you’re in the wrong industry. Additionally, personality is a big factor. Are you the type of person who can be assigned a task about something you know little about, but through initiative and innovation get results? If so, this is the right industry for you. Finally, it’s also OK to fail at times – it is part of the learning process, especially in the software industry. My motto is, “If you’re going to fail, fail fast.”

You are also a volunteer children’s hockey coach with USA Hockey since 2011.

Hikspoors:  I played hockey for most of my life, from the time I was 4 years old. It is a passion outside of work. When my son showed an interest in playing and shared that same passion for it as I have, I decided to help out. I feel it is important to give back and teach children life lessons at a young age.

How did your time and studies at Concordia help shape you and your career?

Hikspoors:  Concordia truly gave me a solid foundation in computer engineering. Having this baseline and foundation for the industry is a critical requirement for getting a job in this industry. Some universities make their students memorize the foundations, but Concordia made me learn the foundations. That is quite a difference, in my opinion.

Concordia also taught me how to learn in a way that fueled my creativity: How do you create something different from what’s already out there?

As I mentioned earlier, in this fast-paced, evolving industry, learning is a daily activity. Concordia gave me the tools to adapt quickly to change, which has helped me throughout my career and shaped me into the leader and professional I am today.

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