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Episode 26: Improving Speech Therapy Across the U.S.

Episode 26: Small Business and Startup Stories DSM

May 24, 2019

A successful electronic medical record for speech pathologists and audiologists has changed the game for ClinicNote users. 

The University Market 

Lana discusses how initially she didn’t look into the university market, but after trying many different things, she attended a university conference with decisionmakers for speech clinics at universities. At the conference, she met and spoke with these decisionmakers and realized the need. With many still using pen and paper or word documents, the need was there for a product like ClinicNote. Lana found that the university market opened doors to creating a whole new platform specifically for universities. 

The Teaching Component 

For universities, ClinicNote created a checkmark for students so that it would be easy to understand. On ClinicNote, students can write up their document and submit it electronically to their teacher, or supervisor, so they can comment on it. All this is feasible while also being HIPPA-compliant. 

Lana’s Journey and ClinicNote 

After marrying one of the founders of ClinicNote and running a franchise in college, Lana knew she wanted to work for a startup. Having studied industrial design at Iowa State University, Lana realized should could apply her training to the startup world. Human-product interaction has many similarities with industrial design. Creating modern, slick interfaces within EMR systems is something Lana focuses on. Simplistic electronic interfaces based on the type of practice is important because physicians have different workflows. 


Lana has 10 mentors she meets with on a regular basis. This has enabled to ClincNote remain a pretty lean company. From tech to taxes, each of these mentors brings insight to the way Lana focuses on different aspects of the business. 

By preparing for mentor meetings, Lana is able to narrow down which things need to be done now and which can wait. To get the best info out of the meeting, take notes and be present. It’s easy to think about the tasks you need to do, but you should be fully focused on the meeting with your mentor. Some mentors are big picture, and some mentors like to look at specific numbers. “People can be the most helpful when you’re talking to what they’re experts at.” 

Mentor Whiplash 

After getting a great piece of advice from a mentor and then getting a different piece of advice from another mentor can put a business owner in a tough spot. When you find yourself in this position, remember you are the decisionmaker. One idea is to compile the advice of both mentors and send an email out to both so everyone can see all of the perspectives before you make a final decision. An active discussion can be even more valuable. 

Mentor Influence 

Since ClinicNote is the first startup Lana worked for, everything was a blank slate. Mentors allow you to get to a better place quicker. Good qualities in a mentor are people who are experts in something particular and they are willing to be honest with you. To find out more about ClinicNote, listen to the podcast. You can also check out ClinicNote on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.