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Doug Burgum wants to bring Great Plains model to health care

Doug Burgum, the guy behind Great Plains Software and who spearheaded the Microsoft Business Solutions ERP-and-CRM push, is still in software, but is attacking a new opportunity.

Burgum is interim president and CEO of Intelligent InSites, a company that aims to help hospitals and other health care providers keep tabs on assets ranging from expensive equipment to beds to the patients who’re supposed to be in the beds.  Burgum is also an investor in the Fargo, N.D.-based company.

There is huge opportunity to help hospitals, rehab centers and other facilities cut said waste and inefficiency that is not touched by the whole Electronic Medical Records (EMR) push, Burgum said.

“The broader space we participate in is RTLS or real time locating systems where our platform tracks not just inventory and assets but people as well–patients and staff–in clinical and long-term care environments,” he said.

If a hospital or rehab center can track such things in real time, it can significantly boost an organization’s return on investment  (ROI) through better utilization, he noted. “You get a more efficient use of staff and workflow,” Burgum said. Better use of staff and work flow means that these institutions could stop overprovisioning such gear.

Many health care providers face capital spending freezes because of all the “out of control spending on asset purchases …at department level, hospital floor level, those people start renting equipment to avoid capex,” he said

The idea is to put unobtrusive, wearable tags on people–on badges or patient bracelets–that can then be tracked within the facility via RFID. Intelligent InSites has sold its software in conjunctions with RTOS hardware and with the scanners and other equipment necessary to get the tracking system together. But now it’s looking for partners.

Burgum would like to replicate the Great Plains model where a cadre vertical VARs sold their applications built atop the vendor software.

“The dream partner for us would be someone who’s got access to health care organizations, either long- term care or hospitals and have health care IT capability or background, they know the industry, can sell into the C suite…because some of this process and change takes support from a CFO, chief medical officer, COO and sometimes more than the CIO…we need them aboard but many of those folks are up to their ears in the  EMR world.”

There are competitors, large and small. On the large side, there’s General Electric, which bought its way into the market with its purchase of Agility. Smaller competitors include Arrowpoint.

It is interesting, given Burgum’s pedigree, that Intelligent Insites isn’t necessarily a full-fledged Windows platform. Indeed core technologies include Java and Linux although there is a Windows option.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at

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