DrChrono EHR, Practice Management, Medical Billing and RCM

DrChrono gains deeper customer insights from data accessed with Datacoral's secure CDC and other integrations.

Using Datacoral, DrChrono can make data-driven decisions securely and more efficiently than ever before. Datacoral empowers the healthcare technology company to access a complete picture of its customers for more useful business insights.
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Historical syncs
of 2B+ records

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4x increase in
tables synced

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100% reduction in engineering time

Key Takeways

  • DrChrono uses Datacoral’s MySQL change data capture (‘CDC’) connector to efficiently replicate their richest and most valuable data to their data warehouse in a scalable, secure, and robust way without spending any engineering resources.
  • The healthcare industry has stringent requirements around data security. Datacoral’s software is built as a set of microservices spun up within the customer VPC. This architecture ensures data never leaves the customer’s environment. Combined with Datacoral’s HIPAA-compliant protocols, DrChrono can handle data securely and comply with regulations.
  • Datacoral’s reliability and easy-to-deploy integrations give DrChrono an end-to-end ETL solution that helps data engineers keep their team’s data flowing more efficiently.
  • DrChrono uses Datacoral’s complete observability to figure out any data integration problems without wasting time sifting through data tables.
  • Datacoral also helps centralize all of DrChrono’s data from services like Salesforce and Zendesk, executing end-to-end ETL with minimal load on the production database and warehouse.

Datacoral provides a secure and robust solution to data management challenges unique to healthcare technology companies

Previously, DrChrono had worked with another SaaS data integration vendor who was unable to meet their ongoing data needs.

In shopping for a new ETL solution, DrChrono was looking for a solution that would meet three fundamental criteria: 

  • Integrate all of their business data housed within their MySQL production database into their data warehouse, and centralize data from SaaS services like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Delighted without routing their data through a vendor owned warehouse.
  • Satisfy the stringent data security requirements that they had as a healthcare technology company.
  • Be easy to use and require no engineering effort to set up or operate.

When DrChrono started using their previous vendor to replicate data from their MySQL database to their data warehouse, they were primarily looking to support the marketing team’s analytics needs. The data volumes were small in that scenario, and the data did not contain much sensitive information. However, as more departments like Revenue Cycle Management (‘RCM’) sought analytics support, the data team quickly ran into several problems with their existing solution:

  • Not scalable or reliable: The increased data volumes from the data integrated from the production database added more load to DrChrono’s systems. These volumes caused the previous vendor’s platform to run into frequent problems and system downtime. “Their replication logic required running really expensive queries on the production database as well on Amazon Redshift.” Yi says, “Also, their configuration became too complex, but could only be updated using their UI and was not always reliable, which resulted in frequent fixing and reprocessing. The combination of a heavy footprint and frequent reprocessing caused our systems to be overloaded,” he adds. Ultimately, they had to dedicate an engineer full-time to understand the vendor platform and work with it to support the increased use cases. 
  • Not secure enough: DrChrono knew that CDC could be the solution to their systems problems with replication. However, the previous vendor’s CDC solution required routing production database data outside of their VPC before being written back into their data warehouse. At first, they tried to make nuanced integration choices to reduce the amount of data routed through a third party. But this piece-meal approach proved cumbersome and required frequent consultation with legal. The result was significant delays in producing analytics.
  • Not easy to use: DrChrono found their previous SaaS data integration vendor’s platform challenging to use. This left data underexplored and crucial business insights lost. “There was no way to map fields from source to destination other than through their UI, which was a huge bottleneck because that’s the part that always failed at scale,” Yi says. As a result, the data team spent more time maintaining data pipelines than analyzing the data and providing business insights. 

Yi says that at the very minimum, DrChrono was looking for a provider who could connect to the company’s production and post-production servers and easily push the data into Amazon Redshift. Datacoral checked off all the boxes, and then some. Another factor in Datacoral’s favor: the depth of technical expertise. “We could tell you guys were nerds, and we liked that,” Yi said.

The Results: DrChrono's data team can now analyze their complete business data, a 4X increase in data volume -- all with zero engineering

With its previous SaaS vendor, DrChrono could only replicate a fraction of tables from their production database for analytics. And of those tables, many times Yi’s team found the data was incomplete. With Datacoral, DrChrono has seen no infrastructure overhead even though the data volume increased by over 4X. Additionally, thanks to Datacoral’s built-in data quality checks, Yi can be confident the data his team analyzes is consistently clean and complete. And, they could achieve all of this while not having to spend any engineering resources. Instead, the data team can focus on producing insights for their business.

Robust and scalable connectors. Datacoral’s serverless CDC Connectors can easily replicate the entire MySQL production database scaling to billions of rows and 100s of millions of changes each month. Also, Datacoral’s Salesforce, Zendesk, and Delighted connectors seamlessly replicate data into Amazon Redshift, providing DrChrono a simple way to centralize all of their data about their customers to get much richer insights. 

Secure data handling. Datacoral’s software is entirely deployed within DrChrono’s VPC. So, no data leaves their environment. In transitioning, “we needed to be sure our partner is [HIPAA] compliant and willing to sign a business associate agreement with us,” Yi says. Datacoral’s secure-by-design architecture means that they don’t even have to register as a data sub-processor, thus dramatically reducing the data team’s cognitive load around security.

Good infrastructure citizen. Datacoral’s serverless architecture requires a very light footprint, enabling it to stay and operate as a good citizen within DrChrono’s environment. “Datacoral’s CDC connector reliably replicates data from MySQL to Amazon Redshift while minimizing the load on the database and warehouse,” said Yi. Upon installing Datacoral, DrChrono found the excessive loads on the production database, and Amazon Redshift reduced dramatically. 

Reliable data from easy-to-use software. “The data quality has been excellent,” Yi says, adding that Datacoral has been very straightforward to install and use. “The technology has been great and reliable, and we haven’t had any issues concerning implementation,” Yi says. Trust has played a vital factor as well. “We were looking for a partner we could trust more fully with our data and who would enable us to use CDC for some of the data we were pulling in,” Yi says.

Complete observability leads to faster problem-solving and greater transparency. Datacoral’s web application provides full visibility into every step of the data pipeline from the data source to the data warehouse. The data team can pinpoint any issues with a couple of clicks instead of sifting through logs. As a result, Datacoral provides the team an end-to-end view of how the data flows into the warehouse.

Data scientists don’t have to worry about the data pipeline plumbing. There are many other projects that the DrChrono team wants to work on. “My department goals have been to try to anticipate and get ahead of what the needs are,” Yi says. DrChrono now has the data and an easy-to-use data replication tool ready to help them get there.

From data chaos to a future built on reliable and securely integrated data

DrChrono has moved from broken pipelines and unreliable data to a more productive data team, thanks to Datacoral’s robust CDC connectors and other integrations. Datacoral’s secure deployment within their VPC gives them the peace of mind that they are not losing control of any of their data. The data team relies on Datacoral to provide clean, up-to-date data for their analyses and do all of the heavy-lifting around the plumbing. By removing the cognitive overhead of day-to-day pipeline management, Datacoral frees up the DrChrono team to help more departments become more effective by leveraging data.

DrChrono continues to be impressed by Datacoral’s technology and the team’s receptiveness. “It’s pretty typical to get a lot of attention when you’re trying to sign a deal. But it’s not very typical to continue to get that attention after you’ve signed the contract,” Yi said of the ongoing commitment Datacoral has shown to DrChrono. Datacoral’s solutions architects continue to help them discover new ways to make their data even more robust and insightful.

“Datacoral has become our CDC partner who we can fully trust with our data,” Yi says. “We are now able to make better decisions because the data has allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of our customers and their needs.”

Jerry Yi of DrChrono

Jerry Yi

Director of Data, DrChrono

DrChrono focuses on bringing the medical practice of the future to reality; the company built the first iPad EHR. DrChrono creates the best electronic health record, practice management, medical billing and revenue cycle management experience for physicians and patients; the health platform was built for iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and the web. The EHR includes customizable medical forms, e-prescribing, real-time patient eligibility checks, patient portal, and more. The Healthcare Partner Platform Marketplace offers a multitude of apps that a practice can select from to bundle in and a medical API for healthcare app developers. DrChrono has attracted thousands of physicians, over 18+ million patients, 69 million appointments booked, and 11 billion dollars in medical billing processed in the platform.

Dr Chrono

About DrChrono

DrChrono provides healthcare technology services to physicians and other healthcare providers. These services include the maintenance of electronic health records, telehealth platforms, and billing service solutions. The twelve-year-old company has a central data team that responds to information requests from many internal teams, including revenue cycle management (RCM), customer service, sales, and marketing. Under the guidance of Jerry Yi, Director of Data, DrChrono started to develop their data warehousing strategy in earnest in 2017. DrChrono has its application and business data in its production MySQL database and uses Salesforce and Zendesk for routine business operations. DrChrono uses Datacoral’s CDC connector and other integrations to centralize data into its Amazon Redshift data warehouse, Airflow to combine and model raw data, and Domo to visualize data for business intelligence.


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