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Healthfinch is primed for growth now that it has scored another $6 million from investors, CEO and co-founder Jonathan Baran says.

The health information technology company, founded in 2011, came out of the gate with an app that automates prescription refills.

Its second app, released recently in a pilot phase, helps doctors prepare for patient appointments by compiling a list of the types of tests the patient may need.

Healthfinch says its goal is “workflow optimization” — having a computer program take over some of the time-consuming responsibilities of health care professionals.

“The fundamental challenge that we’re seeing right now in the health care market is the cost of health care today,” Baran said. And as part of that, “there is far more work than there are people to do that work today.”

Healthfinch’s technology — called the Charlie Practice Automation Platform, or just Charlie — checks prescription refill requests to see if they meet standard guidelines. If so, the refills can be authorized by clinical staff without requiring a physician’s signature.

Charlie also peruses the electronic health records of patients coming in for an appointment and gives the doctor or nurse a rundown of lab tests, procedures or immunizations that are called for, based on the patients’ health history.

“Physicians are so overworked, they don’t always have time (to do that),” Baran said. “What we’re doing is bringing all that information to the forefront (on) how to properly care for that patient.”

The goal is to give providers more time to spend with their patients, rather than with their paperwork.

“We have 4,000 physicians actively on the system and automate tasks for 1.5 million patients a year,” Baran said.

Healthfinch is headquartered at 8517 Excelsior Drive, but most of its 50 employees work remotely — about half of them are in Wisconsin and half around the United States, Baran said.

He credits Madison for giving legs to the startup. “Without being part of the Madison community, this company would have been very hard, if not impossible, to get off the ground,” said Baran, who dropped out of a doctorate program in biomedical engineering to help start Healthfinch.

The company has now received just over $17 million from investors so far. Adams Street Partners, a Chicago investment firm, led the latest funding round.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.