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An HIT Moment with … Dan Michelson

June 13, 2012 Interviews 4 Comments

An HIT Moment with ... is a quick interview with someone we find interesting. Dan Michelson was announced this morning as the CEO of Strata Decision Technology of Chicago, IL. He was chief marketing and strategy officer for Allscripts until earlier this month.


What does Strata Decision Technology do?

Strata Decision Technology is a pioneer and leader in the development of innovative SaaS-based solutions for financial and business analytics and decision support in healthcare. We provide a single integrated software platform for budgeting, decision support, financial forecasting, strategic planning, capital purchase planning and tracking, management reporting, and performance management.

Our customer base includes over 1,000 organizations, including major academic medical centers, community hospitals, children’s hospitals, and many of the largest and most influential healthcare systems in the US including Adventist Health, Christus Health System, Cleveland Clinic, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Duke University Health System, Intermountain Healthcare, Legacy Health System, NYU Medical Center, Spectrum Health, and Yale New Haven Health.


Why did you join the company?

I have a strong belief that the next wave of value with healthcare IT will be in information rich edge solutions, like analytics and decision support, which surround the core clinical and financial systems that have now been deployed.

What I found so intriguing about Strata Decision is that they fit perfectly into this space, and while I have been in healthcare IT for over a decade, I had never even heard of them. The company is a hidden gem because they have had spent very little on sales or marketing.

But what they had built was pretty incredible – a very solid and complete set of solutions on the right technology platform, SaaS-based typically requiring only one day of customer IT staff time to deploy, along with a top tier base of over 1,000 healthcare organizations and very high customer satisfaction. 

Additionally, they have an exceptionally talented and motivated team. A big part of that team from my perspective was Dr. Don Kleinmuntz and Dr. Catherine Kleinmuntz, two brilliant PhDs that co-founded the company, who will be staying on in executive leadership roles. 

So I see a great market opportunity for a company that is exceptionally well positioned to get after it.


The announcement says you’ll help take the company to the next level. What level is it at now, and what is the next level?

From a solution set perspective, they have been laser focused on building out world-class financial and business decision support tools. Over time, it’s safe to say that our customers will begin to ask us to expand that scope to include clinical information to give their organization and their providers a more integrated view.  That is not essential for the solutions we provide today, but it represents a great opportunity down the road. 

Everyone knows that this is where the market is heading, and for the last 30 years in healthcare IT, it has always been relatively small, dynamic companies like Strata Decision that end up defining emerging markets  — practice management, EHRs, connectivity platforms, mobility, etc. The most nimble companies, who focus 20 hours a day on one zone, have always been the ones to blaze the trail. There is no reason that Strata Decision can’t be that company in this market.

As we scale the company, there will be opportunities to create more leverage through better systems and processes, as you would expect. But the bottom line is the foundation is incredibly solid and there are going to be many opportunities for this company to add value to and grow our client base in the years ahead.


What accomplishments and regrets will you remember from your time at Allscripts?

I joined Allscripts over 12 years ago when we had about 100 people and $26 million in revenue. Today the company has over 6,000 people and $1.4 billion in revenue. Looking back now, it’s hard to believe.

More importantly, during that time we helped define and develop the electronic health record market and build the largest client base in the industry. And we created an amazing company that provided lots of opportunity for lots of people, but also gave back in a big way to the community.  

Relative to regrets, building a market and a company at that scale is incredibly hard work. There are many things we could have done differently, but I will leave it to others to debate what those right moves could have been. Monday morning quarterbacking is not my thing. 

The bottom line is that I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished and am very grateful that I had the opportunity to work as part of Glen Tullman’s leadership team.  He has been both a terrific mentor and role model for me.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Dan’s creativity, leadership, and energy are reasons why Allscripts had so much success. Big win for Strata and huge loss for MDRX.

  2. Sassy – you have got to be kidding. Dan and Allscripts success? He was part of the problem. I know, I worked there.

  3. I worked at Allscripts too. I didn’t know Dan well, but I did get the impression that he was a very hard worker and very creative. If there is one thing that Allscripts did very well, it was marketing. I’m sure he learned from Tullman. My greatest fear for Dan is that he learned the how to spin and not how to lead.

  4. It’s odd how Allscripts gets bashed and everyone seems to be rooting for its failure. The failure of any healthcare IT company is only a disaster for their clients and their patients.

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