Digital-writing pro lends a hand to the caregivers

Supporting cast: Westbury-based digital writing expert FJD & Associates has struck up a potentially lucrative partnership with Nebraska-based nonprofit Caregiver Support Services.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A new alliance with a national caregiver-support network is among the biggest deals to date for digital-writing specialist FJD & Associates.

The 2010 Westbury-based startup, which distributes high-tech document and data-capture solutions for paper and tablets, has announced a partnership with Caregiver Support Services, a Nebraska-based 501(c)3 dedicated to the wellbeing of personal and professional caregivers who look after homebound patients.

Financial terms of the distribution deal were not disclosed, but according to FJD & Associates, the Westbury tech firm will provide its Digital Writing C2P platform – one of multiple products FJD distributes domestically for Swedish data-collection and mobile-app specialist Anoto Group AB – to homecare providers as an “efficient and effective mobile solution” that not only promotes data-capture solutions, but can streamline protocols for required government certifications.

The digital-writing platform is an ideal tool for employee-onboarding, manually completed timesheets and other HR-related functions, with particular promise for healthcare-related paperwork: Handwritten patient assessments, voice-recorded doctor’s notes, annotated photos and other medical documentation can be easily converted into industry-standardized digital content that flows electronically between back-office systems.

In the case of Caregiver Support Services, the platform could prove a godsend regarding certification testing. A main function of the national network is helping caregivers keep up with their certifications, noted FJD & Associates founder and CEO Fred Dunwoody, and the C2P platform can support numerous custom-designed training modules – helping Caregiver Support Services’ professional associates save time and other resources while maintaining compliance standards.

The Digital Writing C2P platform can facilitate training anywhere, at any time, with test data captured, reviewed, graded and forwarded to authorized managers, all in real time. The data can also be zapped immediately to necessary agencies and stored for future review.

Fred Dunwoody: Big year, but bigger things coming.

Calling the digital-writing platform “a cost-effective turnkey solution for training frontline direct caregivers,” Caregiver Support Services co-founder and CEO Eboni Green said C2P gives caregivers “access to the tools and support that enhance their ability to provide quality care based on industry best practices.”

That’s no mean feat, the CEO added, with new federal and state homecare guidelines “plac(ing) an additional burden on homecare agencies.”

“While most agencies have training and compliance processes, the new standards require agencies make changes and implement new procedures that impact personnel, business processes and resources,” Green said in a statement, adding this “places a strain on the business to do more in the face of growing costs and shrinking revenues.”

Helping homecare agencies deal with that scenario was precisely what Dunwoody had in mind when he reached out to Green, who earned a PhD in human services from Kaplan University and launched Caregiver Support Services in 1998 with her husband, Terrence, a Bellevue University MBA and veteran sales executive who counts stops at FedEx, Canon and Xerox among his professional posts.

Dunwoody, who always considered healthcare to be his startup’s most potentially lucrative vertical, said he repeatedly came across Green while researching new potentials for FJD & Associates – “She kept popping up on Internet videos” – and finally made a LinkedIn connection.

“What really brought us together was when I was working with a client in New Jersey, and he started talking about having to get these training tests done,” Dunwoody told Innovate LI. “I said fine, let me figure out how to do it, and that triggered the thinking that all of these agencies had to keep up with this testing.

“And that brought me back to Dr. Green.”

Dunwoody sent her a message explaining the advantages of the Digital Writing C2P platform, and Green – whose nearly 20-year-old nonprofit counts major networks among its clients, including Nebraska-based national services provider Right at Home – sensed a winner.

The new partnership is the biggest deal to date for FJD & Associates, Dunwoody said, “as far as developing partnerships and embedding our solution in other organizations’ processes and business models.”

But that figures to change in the New Year: The Westbury startup, which boasts only three full-time employees including Dunwoody, is standing by for word from Anoto on new products slated to debut in 2018.

The manufacturer has been “tightlipped so far,” Dunwoody noted, but the “ancillary product” said to be coming soon has something to do with data-capturing directly off of whiteboards – and as the Swedish company’s main-gun U.S. distributor, FJD & Associates is primed to pump up business on the strength of the new offering.

It’s the kind of product that will help his company develop its other, non-healthcare verticals, Dunwoody noted, including human resources, “a big part of our business model as well.”

“Right now, we’re actually embarking on the faculty- and safety-inspection market,” he added. “We have a nice project coming in the first quarter of 2018 with a New York City municipal organization, where they’re going to use our solutions during the inspections of all their facilities and assets, in a reporting structure that gives them a real-time understanding of how they actually exist.”

With that new project in the offing and the Caregiver Support Services partnerships in the books, the entrepreneur said he’s pleased with the progress his seven-year-old firm made this year.

“Like every small business, it can always be better,” Dunwoody said. “But I’m absolutely happy with where we are and what we’ve accomplished, and I’m looking to doing a lot more the New Year.”


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