MacPractice “going like gangbusters” building health care software
MacPractice has grown to more than 100 employees, and the company is building a new office to accommodate its growing team.
In just eight years, MacPractice has gone from co-founder Patrick Clyne's basement to planning for a $15 million, seven-story building in downtown Lincoln.
Founded in May 2004, the company now earns $15 million in annual revenue from its practice management software for health care providers — physicians, dentists, chiropractors and eye doctors — who also love Apple. MacPractice software is installed in about 4,000 medical offices in 27 countries, with approximately 30,000 users.
"It's unexpected. Most people are surprised that a little company, a growing company like MacPractice, is nestled down in the Haymarket," said Loretta Young, MacPractice's director of human resources. "Greatness can spring up anywhere, and it's right here in Lincoln."
But to understand how MacPractice got there, you have to go back a bit further.
Clyne (above) started programming in the late '70s, after falling while painting a grain elevator. In 1984, he wrote a dental practice program called DentalMac, at the request of his brother-in-law, a dentist. The concept grew to include the same four core specialities that MacPractice serves today. A succession of corporate takeovers ensued, until the division Clyne oversaw was eliminated by its parent company in 2004.
Suddenly without a job, Clyne teamed up with co-founder Mark Hollis (left), a sales rep with whom he had worked previously. They recruited sales and support staff who were already familiar with the previous software, and started contacting old clients even before they started coding.
Young had been with Clyne and his software almost 10 years by then. She said many team members talked about how "cool" it would be "to take care of our customers who we've known for years."
"Mark and Patrick had the guts to do it," she said. "It was quite a risk for (them) to take."
The team worked from Clyne's basement for several months, before moving into their first office space in downtown Lincoln.
"It's a very Apple story," said Kelly Krueger, MacPractice's director of sales, who has been with MacPractice since 2004.*
During those early days, "there was a lot to do and we all wore many different hats, so we became really good at juggling," Krueger said.
She means it figuratively — but also literally. Young and Krueger describe Clyne as an avid juggler, and juggling is an important part of the company's culture. Each new hire receives a juggling kit, and Clyne has been known to give small, year-end bonuses to employees who can demonstrate the skill.*
Today, the MacPractice software (left) has "a lot of bells and whistles," Krueger said, including electronic health records and other features on the rapidly-changing frontier of medical care. They focus on making the software client-centric, she said, with many features suggested by clients, sometimes directly through the software interface. The latest addition is Clipboard, an iPad app that allows patients to fill out their intake information on the practitioner's iPad, which is then synced directly into the MacPractice system.
With 100-plus employees, including 14 developers, the company is "going like gangbusters," Young said, and bursting at the seams of its Haymarket office space, which the company moved into in 2008.
But they're not waiting for that new building on the horizon to keep growing. They're currently looking to hire at least one additional developer.
"We'd probably take more, but usually if we find one, we're doing good," Young said.
Credits: Team photo courtesy of MacPractice. Photo of Clyne from macpractice.com. Photo of Hollis from macpractice.com. Software screenshot courtesy of MacPractice.
Updates Sept. 4, 10:25 p.m.: Krueger joined MacPractice in 2004. A previous version of the story indicated she joined the company in 1998. Year-end juggling bonuses are not an automatic annual occurences; a previous version of the story said "everyone" who can juggle receives the small, year-end bonus.