TELCORs mission grows its markets

Oct. 1, 2011
Deb Larson, Jim Terrano, and Becky Clarke

Deb Larson is Executive Vice President and Founding Partner. She began her career as a medical technologist and oversees TELCOR's laboratory billing products. She manages client accounts, projects and product design. Under her direction, TELCOR's software was designed to be configured for many types of medical and environmental laboratories. Deb holds a B.S. degree in medical technology and chemistry from the University of Nebraska and is a MT(ASCP).

Jim Terrano is President, CEO and Founding Partner of Lincoln, Nebraska-based TELCOR. The business began as a healthcare consulting firm, but has evolved into a software development company that serves the laboratory billing and point-of-care markets. Jim, who holds a B.S. degree in chemistry and math from Wisconsin State University and completed Master's coursework through the University of Minnesota, focuses on strategic direction, system concepts, and executing TELCOR's business plan.

Becky Clarke is Executive Vice President and Founding
Partner. She began her career as a staff nurse, and now oversees TELCOR's point-of-care product line, using her clinical and information systems experience to develop and expand the company's software solutions. A registered nurse, Becky holds a B.S. degree in health arts from St. Francis College and a Diploma in Nursing from BryanLGH Medical Center.

How did you three come together to create TELCOR—and how did it develop into what it is today?

Jim Terrano: We met at a laboratory information systems company where we were the executives. We left that company and formed TELCOR in 1995 as a consulting company whose purpose was to re-engineer implementations and processes so people would get more out of the systems they had installed. From that, we evolved into the two product lines that we have today, which are run by Deb and Becky.

Deb Larson: We noticed there were two underserved markets. One was an emerging new market where there really weren't many products yet, and we saw it as an opportunity to use our technical and software development background. The other was the billing side. At the time, there hadn't been any new products released in that market for 25 years, so we looked at both as niche opportunities.

What is the mission that guides TELCOR?

Terrano: Our mission is twofold—to create products that maintain long-term viability and to provide high employee satisfaction. We listen to our customers and adapt to make sure we are continuing to provide value and the right products. That's why we have excellent customer relations with more than 1,300 customers and very low employee turnover. We pride ourselves on the commitment we make to quality, product development and customer service.

Becky Clarke: Adhering to our mission is inherent in us, and we pass that down to the people who work for us. We believe in it, and when you believe in it, you live by it.

How has TELCOR adapted to changes and challenges in the industry?

Terrano: As the industry matures and more regulations are enacted, our products have adapted to the customers' needs. They have evolved to the point where they include features we wouldn't have thought to include, if not for customer feedback. We listen to what our customers need and what the market needs.

Larson: TELCOR also makes substantial reinvestments in its products—from a customer-need standpoint and from a technology standpoint. When we release new software versions, we implement the latest in technology and address updates requested by users. We provide complimentary software updates as well.

Clarke: A challenge we face in this industry is the constant growth and change. We consistently balance working under deadline pressure to comply with new regulatory changes while remaining committed to our internal processes to ensure we're providing quality products and service for our customers.

What role does customer service play in your success?

Terrano: Our customers are being asked to do more with fewer resources. The emphasis on quality remains foremost and must not be compromised with workflow efficiencies. We have responded not only with a continued and substantial investment in new version enhancements, but by expanding our customer service to focus on how our systems are being utilized. Customers have access to our support team 365 days a year, around the clock. They also have input into the direction of future upgrades, which are all included as part of our commitment to the product and provided for in our support agreements at no additional cost.

Larson: We also spend time getting to know our customers well, so we can maximize the product for their needs. And TELCOR provides continuous training to its customers as they need it.

Can you give a specific example of your customer orientation?

Clarke: Recently we helped St. John's Regional Medical Center, a customer in Joplin, Missouri, get back online after taking a direct hit from the devastating tornado that struck May 22. Our employees mobilized and helped re-implement St. John's point-of-care system in its mobile hospital, so important patient testing could continue. This disaster relief effort was done at no cost to the hospital. We also provided financial support to assist with relief efforts. Whenever customers have catastrophic situations occur, we help recover data as part of our ongoing customer service. That isn't spelled out in our service agreement—that's just who we are.