Drew Madden: Evergreen’s Man in Motion

Nestled in the booming start-up sector of Madison, Wisconsin is Drew Madden’s thriving project, Evergreen Healthcare Partners. Billing itself as a consultant to healthcare providers from across the healthcare landscape, Evergreen is well-positioned to help its clients find workable solutions to complex issues in the realms of operations, IT, and change management. Drew Madden was made for this sort of leadership position. With a background in Industrial Engineering, Madden’s 15+ years in healthcare technology has helped a host of companies and organizations improve patient care, employee satisfaction, and the all-important financial “bottom line.”

It is exciting time for companies like Evergreen Healthcare Partners and healthcare visionaries like Drew Madden. As technological sophistication and capabilities grow, those pulling “the gears and levers,” that is, putting the technology to work, will need business partners who are equipped to teach, troubleshoot, imagine, and inspire. Always passionate about the people that work for him and those Evergreen serves in various business engagements, Drew Madden sees Evergreen as the sort of company that can help healthcare companies and employees, along with the clients they serve, get the most out of the technologies at their disposal.


Many see Drew Madden as a visionary in the realm of healthcare information, who is continually positioning his company to provide services that other healthcare companies are unable to provide. “We are seeing healthcare IT efforts focus more and more on the combination of operational, advisory, and workflow knowledge,” says Madden, “Machine learning can use data mined from electronic healthcare records for improved results in clinical settings.”[1] With this growing focus on the movement of healthcare information, Madden sees Evergreen as a company positioned to not only troubleshoot and enhance healthcare information efficiencies, but also train healthcare employees to optimize information production and sharing. “Evergreen was founded on the idea of providing a diverse offering of industry leading services to our healthcare partners across the country,” says Madden, adding, “this certainly involves consulting on Electronic Health Records but extends to other areas of focus such as Training and Education, Front End Alignment, Talent Management, Rev Cycle Improvement, Operations, and Leadership & Advisory Services.”[2]

One of the great advantages Evergreen has over its competitors in the healthcare environment is its context. Located in a town known for a great educational, cultural, and an entrepreneurial spirit, Evergreen has become a desirable place to work for tech gurus, and talented business minds. As noted by Joel Patenaude of Madison Magazine, Madison, Wisconsin has started to pull business away from the seedbed of American innovation, Silicon Valley. In planting the Evergreen flag in Madison on the frontend of the technology and service migration to the Midwestern city, Drew Madden shows why he is seen as a trendsetter in the healthcare environment.

It’s About People

 While Drew Madden knows that his credentialing and understanding of healthcare undergird his ability to move Evergreen forward, he also understands that success is often cultivated through the deployment of underutilized skills. “While I love technology,” Madden quipped in a recent interview, “I’ve always had a knack and appreciation for the “soft skills” that are so important for successful change management and IT adoption.”[3] Madden adds, “If you look at the biggest challenges in healthcare IT today, very few of them are related to true IT challenges.”[4] In Madden’s opinion, refining processes, managing change, and equipping excellent employees to do exemplary work is essential in the modern healthcare technology environment. In his work on behalf of Evergreen, Drew Madden works from the premise that a strong leadership team positively shapes the trajectory of the whole organization. Madden states, “Our leadership team comes from a diverse background of healthcare IT companies (Epic, Cerner and the payor software sector) and rounds out that knowledge with experience working for some of the nation’s best consulting firms (Nordic, Vonlay, Huron and Bluetree).[5] By equipping this leadership team with strong technical and interpersonal skills, Madden believes he is investing in Evergreen’s delivery of efficient and effective services to a diverse clientele.  “We empower our employees to be and do their best by focusing on their individual strengths and career goals and aligning those with the needs of our healthcare partners,” says Madden, who is always interested in refining and broadening his own skillset. At the end of the day, Madden hopes that he is the least skilled member of his team. “I pride myself on being the dumbest person at our company,” says Madden with a grin on his face, “I’ve always believed that if I can consistently make that claim, then I’m doing my job as a “company leader.””[6] With so many talented professionals on the Evergreen leadership team and down on the “floor” of the company, collaboration becomes an important, synergistic tool for Evergreen and its clients. “Many of my best ideas come from collaboration with our team or client partners, says Madden emphatically, “It’s exhilarating to be a part of a part of a group that’s empowered to be creative and solve problems together.”[7]

In a Day’s Work

Drew Madden understands that there are no typical days for the leader of Evergreen Healthcare Partners. There are, however, some definite themes in the day to day unfolding of the business. Yes, constant engagement with people is critical. “Some days are spent working with our team to tackle an internal project,” notes Madden, while, “other days are spent traveling to meet with our client partners to understand their challenge and show our support as a true partner.”[8] As one might imagine, Madden spends substantial time building and replenishing the hearty team that serves as the pulse of the company. “Other days are spent meeting with and recruiting industry leaders to be a part of the exciting company we are creating.”[9]

On the recruitment front, Drew Madden is always seeking great folks that will enhance Evergreen’s team. “I love spending extra time getting to know candidates during the interview process,” says Madden, as he articulates the rationale behind his interview methodology. In a word, distinctiveness. Madden seeks new Evergreen employees that distinguish themselves from an often crowded applicant pool. Madden also believes that a conversational tone in an interview helps establish rapport that will serve both the business’ and employee’s best interests after the hire. “While formal interview questions are a part of the process, I think to incorporate conversational and informal aspects to an interview process allow you to get to know a candidate in a different way and also help create strong connections that can be very important for employee satisfaction and retention.”[10]

More on Drew Madden: http://medicaldailytimes.com/medical-technology/drew-madden-on-why-healthcare-desperately-needs-to-meet-it-to-advance-emrs/4077/

Drew Madden also believes that company setbacks are a time to review processes and the team. Indeed, some setbacks can cause team deficiencies. Often the person who turns out to be the most deficient is the person who runs the organization or leads the team. “If you need more expertise, get it,” says Madden as he reflects on times of personal retooling that evolved after setbacks. “If this is a warning message for you telling you that what you’re pursuing is not what’s best, listen. After you’re done processing your feelings and emotions, get tactical by examining what happened. A rejection can be a bump in the road or worse. What happens next is your choice. I vote for learning and coming back even stronger.” [11]  Emphasizing the complimentary nature of the strongest business teams, Madden reminds folks that the people you choose to partner with in business directly impact success and satisfaction. “Surround yourself with others who have complementary strengths,” Madden attests. Obviously, a strong team tends to rouse the best nature and best skills from its individual players.

Cultivating Great Ideas through Good Practices 

Unlike the hardware providers in the healthcare industry, Drew Madden understands that Evergreen is not in business to create and unleash the next great technology. “As a services company, we’re not required to invent a new widget or create innovative software” says Madden unequivocally, “we are, however, required to be great at meeting our customers’ needs and offering them resources and solutions that can help them succeed.”[12] In Madden’s view, offering resources and solutions presupposes excellent listening. For many, listening is an intrinsic quality of personality. For others, thoughtful listening requires time and experience. Again, when Madden brings a new face onboard the Evergreen team, there’s already a commitment to train the team member to thoughtful engage clients. The emphasis on keen listening also benefits productivity, and productivity benefits the entire operation. Madden says it this way: “I’ve found that if you listen well to your client partners, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to help them. And if you listen well to your current and prospective employees, you’ll be in a great position to empower them to perform at their best and enjoy what they’re doing.”[13]

Great ideas never leave the paper or benefit clients if the team is unable to craft and articulate its value proposition. Inasmuch, Drew Madden believes that every member of a leadership or sales team must be able to articulate the company’s service offerings to current and potential clientele. “I like to encourage people to perfect their value prop or sales pitch into 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minute and 10-minute versions, notes Madden, who is well-regarded in this domain of the business. “That might sound crazy but there have been plenty of times in my career when I’ve had a set amount of time and not a second more to present my company’s value prop.”[14] The end, of course, is not gain individual notoriety for one’s sales acumen, but to move the whole business forward. “The ability to read your audience and deliver the message in a timely manner is vitally important,” says Madden, who understands that the most skilled people in the world can actually hurt the bottom line if they cannot “deliver the goods” to potential customers.

Trends that Inspire

On this side of the Affordable Care Act, Drew Madden sees a robust future instore for health record management. Reflecting on the breathtaking pace of technological change and improvement, Madden understands that information management in the 2030s will look far different than it does today. “I’m excited to see how healthcare continues to evolve over the next 10 years now that Electronic Health Record adoption has become more common,” says Madden as he pivots toward an awareness of all that has changed since he left college and entered the workforce. “I graduated from college in 2002. In some ways that doesn’t seem that long ago, but back then, even though the internet and laptops had been around for over a decade, most people (including myself) didn’t have a cell phone, there was no such thing as a smartphone, Facebook was only available for college students, PayPal, eBay, Google were far from mainstream, and when you drove somewhere new, you printed off directions from MapQuest.”[15]

From Madden’s vantage point, that same wave of innovation is just now beginning to gain speed and momentum in healthcare information technology. “If you extend those trends into healthcare IT, I think we’re in the very early stages of innovation and change in our industry. Lots of data is being collected, but harnessing that data to leverage positive change will be a common theme in the future. Understanding the inner workings of healthcare processes and EHRs will allow companies like Evergreen to remain on the forefront of innovation for years and decades to come.”[16] In order to keep Evergreen on the crest of innovation, Madden continually underscores the priority of team building and skills enhancement. Evergreen employees receive ample opportunities to engage in continuing education and experimentation so that the nimble company of 2018 will carry the same nimbleness forward is a continually changing healthcare environment.  This people-first ethos is embodied in one of Evergreen’s guiding statements: “Evergreen Healthcare Partners provide industry-leading healthcare IT expertise to our partners across the country…but we do it in a different way. It all starts with the idea that individuals matter and people make all the difference.  Decades of experience have taught us that spending the extra time to find the right opportunity based on preferences, goals and skill sets creates the foundation for a lasting partnership.”[17]

Habitats that Make Madden, Madden

Drew Madden will never be the USDA’s poster boy for optimum nutrition. “Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day,” Madden says with a twinkle in his eye. “I never eat it. I can work until noon on 2-3 cups of black coffee.”[18] While his nutritional prowess may be lackluster, Drew Madden incorporates a number of practices into his daily routine that cultivate personal satisfaction and business success. “Network, network, network,” Madden affirms as he looks back at growing edges as a young entrepreneur, “never miss the opportunity to meet someone and learn about them.” Madden adds, that the person who learns how to optimize networking and cellphone transferability through technological innovation, will be in high demand. “If you want to make a billion dollars, create an app or technology that allows people to get a new cell phone number and effortlessly notify their contacts and allow their contacts to update the information. I’ve often joked that it’s easier to move across the country and change your address than it is to change your cell phone number.

If you want to make another billion dollars, create a 21st-century replacement for swapping paper business cards.”[19] Madden’s on to something with these suggestions, and will probably beat the crowd to the innovation.

Drew Madden also reads as much as possible. Books, periodicals, and digital articles are among the many resources the entrepreneur engages in his quest to enhance his skills. The 2007 title Strength Finders is a particular favorite, as it leverages psychology and business administration to create a more holistic entrepreneur. The book, along with similar titles, reinforces Madden’s belief that a strong leadership cadre and a strong extended team is far more prescriptive for great business outcomes than having the best technology or services. A team that clearly and persuasively communicates its shtick to the prospective client is a team that is positioning itself for success.

Final Thoughts

Drew Madden has been a game-changer since his emergence in the Madisonian entrepreneurial scene in the early 2000s. Couple with a sound education and diverse experiences, Madden has the “soft skills” that communicate trust and support to clients and teammates alike. Surrounded by a sturdy team at Evergreen Healthcare Partners, Madden will certainly grow his business and his personal brand. In fact, it’s clear that Madden’s competitors in healthcare look to him for clarity on the trends, fool’s gold, and outside forces that will impact healthcare moving forward. Clearly, Madden is at the top of his game and will keep Evergreen at the top of theirs for years to come.

[1] Extracted from: https://drew-madden.com/2017/06/26/google-expands-partnerships-hospitals-work-machine-learning, 2017.

[2] Extracted from: https://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2018/03/01/UN28377, 2018.

[3] Extracted from: https://ideamensch.com/drew-madden, 2017.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid

[11] Extracted from: https://www.channel3000.com/madison-magazine/city-life/new-nonstop-flights-could-bring-investment-and-talent-to-madison/747665110, 2018.

[12] Extracted from: https://ideamensch.com/drew-madden, 2017.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid

[17] Extracted from: https://evergreenhealthcarepartners.com, 2018

[18] Extracted form: [18] Extracted from: https://ideamensch.com/drew-madden,2017.

[19] Ibid.

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