In a special series, please check out our feature on these wonderful local businesses, non-profits and artists who bring local loveliness to us all! Please enjoy meeting Brianne Casey, owner of Checked In, LLC, a company formed by selling a horse to fund development during the pandemic to serve people needing healthcare in our local area. Photos by Jennifer Gray Calcagno Photography.
Tell us about yourself. (Who are you/ What is your business name?)
My name is Brianne, and I have a software startup company called Checked In, LLC. Checked In focuses on measuring and publishing real-time patient wait-times using geolocation so that patients can get access healthcare. I am an ER nurse and came up with the idea after working triage. I noticed that patients would wait hours for care at one ER when another nearby ER had a much shorter wait that patients were unaware of. As a nurse my goal is to get people access to healthcare as soon as possible because as we all know, time can be life.
What has it been like with the Covid19/ Quarantine Scenario and how have you had to pivot your business?
Covid 19 has been like surviving the zombie apocalypse for me. When you turn on the news you see huge hospitals in major populations, New York being the most famous, where the hospitals are overwhelmed and don’t have enough healthcare workers or equipment. But what people don’t realize is that the smaller surrounding hospitals are empty and have available resources for patients, if only they knew to go there.
In the ER where I work (in suburbia) we are seeing fewer patients, because everyone is afraid of getting sick if they seek medical attention. Because people are waiting too long for medical attention they usually end up arriving by ambulance in critical condition. So there’s nobody around, and then all of the sudden there’s this crazy rush of really sick people all at the same time.
The longer you wait for healthcare, the sicker you get, and the harder it will be for patients to make a full recovery.
This has lead to 2 epiphanies for Checked In:
1) Checked In is literally going to save lives when flu/covid season returns this fall. By choosing the facility with the shortest wait, patients will be naturally distributed across the healthcare community so no one hospital or urgent care is overwhelmed. Hospitals with shorter wait times have fewer patients, and therefore will have more resources to provide medical treatment faster.
2) Checked In added in app texting. Once patients have registered at the front desk, they do not have to wait in the waiting room. They will receive a text message once a room has been assigned. This limits germ exposure.
Additionally Checked In would be a great tool for drive-through testing for Covid-19, the flu, and strep. Patients can drive their vehicle to the test point when they receive their text saying it’s their turn and can be tested from the safety of their vehicle. It will prevent disease spread and help keep healthcare workers and other patients safe.
Have you always had the entrepreneurial spirit?
Yes! It is genetic. My great grandfather was an engineer with NASA and invented global telecommunications so that when the Mercury II orbited earth it could stay in constant communication with NASA. My first career was as a media producer. I worked for a local ABC affiliate and for MHz Networks, a subsidiary of PBS that focused on international news programming. I have always enjoyed being creative and problem solving oriented.
Do you have a morning routine?
Yes. Every morning I share a black coffee with whipped cream on top with my cat. I call him my therapist. We sit out on our porch when the weather is nice for several hours before we get moving.
When did you decide being an entrepreneur was right for you?
I have always wanted my own business. I think that is because my parents own their own business and I grew up answering phones and helping them run theirs. It was just a matter of finding the right idea that solves the right need. As soon as I realized nobody was publishing live patient wait-times in a way that patients could compare them to each other I knew I had to do it. I know how to produce media from my prior career, and access to healthcare is SO IMPORTANT to me. Everyone always talks about access to healthcare as if insurance is the only issue. It is a small issue in comparison to how long patients have to wait for help. It’s not just the VA, it’s private citizens too. I read that the average wait for a specialist appointment in the private sector is over 50 days in large cities. My dream is to get people seen as soon as possible and save lives.
What made you choose this location?
Northern Virginia is where some of the brightest minds in the country are located. It is a tech hotspot, as well as a government contracting hot spot. I feel like this is the best place to network with other forward-thinking people with the skill set to move Checked In, LLC into the spotlight.
What made you choose Falls Church? Arlington? McLean????
The community. It is a beautiful melting pot of many talents and opportunities.
How do you think your company is different?
Checked In, LLC is going to bring about a culture change in healthcare. Sharing information with patients will save lives. My favorite mentor in television news broadcasting used to tell me “content is king.” I have tweaked that just a little, “information is king.”
What problem are you solving?
During the pandemic or in other mass casualty related disasters Checked In will help distribute patients across an entire healthcare community controlling patient surges so that no one ER is overwhelmed. This will save lives.
During a patient’s healthcare crisis we are getting them seen faster, which will increase their chances of making a full recovery. Time is life.
Under non-emergency circumstances we are helping patients manage their time better by allowing them to choose a healthcare provider with the best wait.
Where is your favorite place to go in NoVa for a secret escape?
Glenwood Park in Middleburg. It is a beautiful steeplechase race course with stadium seating built into the side of a hill. There are these big gorgeous trees and you can stare out over the field. It is very peaceful and quiet. I spent a lot of time there as a kid growing up, so I like to go and sit there and feel nostalgic and peaceful.
Is there something you want people to know about your business that no one knows?
Checked In, LLC started as a passion project, and while it is now a startup, it is still my passion project. Everybody involved in it has a personal story directly related to long patient wait-times. Our mission is getting people access to healthcare and everybody involved is doing this for a loved one.
Tell us a secret about your company.
We are completely self-funded. I sold a nice horse to pay for software development.
What word best describes your company?
If you weren’t running your business what would you be doing?
Working on another business idea.
What is your life motto?
Do everything with honesty, integrity, strength, and courage.
When you started your company, did you have an idea about what would go into the day to day?
Yes. I love collaborating on projects and producing media, so I was counting on going back and forth with the development team day in and day out. I was lucky enough to source some amazing talent in my network to manage the areas that I am weak in (or make my eyes glaze over), so again collaboration.
What is playing right now in your playlist?
Do you have a favorite instagram?
I have to confess, I’m not very active on social media.
Do you have a favorite hike and bike trail?
LOVE hiking! Shenandoah National Park is beautiful.
What fitness regimen do you follow?
I ride horses and walk my dogs 3 miles a day.
What trends do you think we should be looking at now?
Social distancing and how it is going to impact consumerism.
What is your style?
I am either sitting at my computer in my scrub pants and t-shirt, or I go the other extreme and love to wear cute preppy/business casual outfits. I love clothes!
What is your favorite food? Do you have a favorite local hotspot?
I love Thai food and Sushi. I really enjoy cooking/entertaining and my own thai/sushi rolls, so my favorite local hotspot is actually my kitchen!