General news

On the business, let me Elaborate.

On the business, let me Elaborate.

Nicole Bocskocsky
Jan 26, 2023

In my job as a healthcare operator, I spent much of my time building solutions to doctors’ problems, especially around their daily admin tasks. Every day, doctors encounter obstacles in doing the basics of their jobs. One of these problems, and the growing pain it has caused doctors inspired me to start Elaborate.

But first, a bit of context: A few years ago, I was in bed reading when I got a phone call from a teammate. This physician was sitting at home in bed in her pajamas, glued to her laptop since arriving home from work. She’d missed her daughters’ soccer practices and family dinners for the third time this week.

After spending hours seeing patients all day long, this doctor had come home to an inbox overflowing with patient messages. She answered question after question, many of which were similar, copying and pasting some derivative of the same answer over and over again.

What was the cause of the explosive growth in her inbox? Why was this doctor working during her “pajama time”?

Lab results.

How we receive information about our health

Today, it’s easier to learn about our Spotify listening habits or Uber rider patterns than our own health.

Conventional bloodwork or ‘lab testing’ is the gold standard for evaluating our health and informing medical decisions. But, as patients, we rarely understand what the results are telling us.

Think back to the last time that you got your lab results. Did you understand them?
As an example, take a look at my most recent bloodwork:

Does anyone without years of medical training know what this means?

As you’ve likely done yourself, I immediately turned to Google. After just a few minutes, I’ve convinced myself I have lupus, hereditary hemochromatosis, and leukopenia.

Most patients just want to know whether their results are normal. Instead of a simple answer to this question, we get a clinical report with medical jargon we don’t understand, ranges that aren’t personalized to us, and red flags that only increase our panic, not our comprehension.

It turns out that I was actually fine. When analyzed in the context of my clinical history and current health, my doctor informed me that the markers out-of-range were not medically significant.

But, I only learned that I was fine after weeks of playing phone tag with my doctor. Why would this information be sent to me without a clear explanation?

How doctors share information about our health

As patients, when we receive potentially scary news, our first instinct is to reach out to the doctor for clarification. They ordered the labs after all, and should have a couple minutes to answer questions in their free time, right?

However, before writing a seemingly simple response to just one message, doctors need to aggregate the patient’s data by reviewing our medical history, comparing lab results to previous findings, interpreting the meaning of these results, checking for missed points of data, and finally translating it all into plain English before outlining next steps. Multiply that by 2,000 patients, and this one workflow adds hundreds of hours of extra work every year. Worst of all, it’s very often all unpaid work.

In fact, many full-time doctors dedicate a full administrative day every week exclusively to documentation and patient messages. A recent study of thousands of primary care practitioners validated these findings, citing that the single largest drivers of a doctor’s workload are patient-initiated messages and lab results (JAMA, May 2021).

So, why is a doctor spending their personal, unpaid time to help you? Simple answer: your doctor cares a lot about you and your health.

“As a doctor, if my patient needs me at night, or on the weekend, I am going to answer that call or message. Because I know I have the power to relieve their pain or anxiety, I will do it.

It's what got me into medicine. But it's also killing me.”

However, asking people to complete unpaid work out of the goodness of their heart has limits.

In a recent study conducted by the AMA in 2021, 63% of doctors reported burnout, with the majority stemming from admin work. Concerningly, 57.5% of doctors now say they wouldn’t go back and become a doctor again.

Doctor burnout has real-world consequences. Already, we are living through a shortage of doctors, leaving over 28 million Americans unable to access basic primary care. By 2035, the current shortage is expected to more than double. The scarce doctors we have should be spending their time seeing and treating patients. But instead, they are inundated with panicked messages about lab results that cannibalize their time and focus.

How recent regulation has exacerbated the issue

Doctors are innovative. I have seen so many different solutions to the lab admin problem I described above: scheduling a follow-up visit for all lab results, whether or not they’re normal, writing a brief summary note to accompany the scary PDF, telling patients that if they don’t hear from then “no news is good news”….the list goes on and on.

However, despite these well-intentioned ideas, doctors barely manage this admin workload [see my story re: doctor working until 10PM].

Now, let’s add some (well-intentioned) gasoline to the fire.

In 2021, regulators took action to address patient concerns regarding lack of access to their own health data. Enter the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). This mandate required doctors release all medical records to patients, including test results, without delay.

While this mandate ensures patients have access to their own raw health data, it also means health data is sent without context. This has substantial unintended consequences for a doctor’s workload, further skyrocketing the number of questions about lab results, further reducing the time and energy doctors have to dedicate to patient care.

How do we solve it?

Startups are all about timing. It’s a funny coincidence that the day we formally started this business is the same day that CURES regulation went into effect: April 5, 2021.

CURES is not the reason I started this business. I started this business because I saw a problem that I wanted to fix for doctors and patients. So, I assembled a team of passionate clinicians, engineers, operators, and designers to build a solution.

We call that solution Elaborate.

Our mission is to empower doctors to make their care journey better. We reduce admin so doctors can focus on what they love most: caring for their patients.

Today, Elaborate is responsible for delivering any health data received for just under half a million patients. Every month, we deliver tens of thousands of contextualized, action-oriented lab results to patients and doctors, reducing hours weekly of unnecessary back-and-forth messaging between patient and doctor. We seamlessly integrate into 65+ electronic medical record software (EMRs), layering patient history and past lab results into our clinical-standard, customizable algorithm to offer insights about the patient’s health and their doctor’s recommend next steps. Over 90% of patients will view their labs, crushing the average rate today via the EMR (40% patient portal access rates).

We’ve received rave reviews from real patients and doctors about how lab results, illuminated, have led to increased patient satisfaction, improved quality of care, and decreased non-billable admin work.

Most importantly, over 92.5% of patients say that Elaborate helped them understand their lab result.

Even though we’re just getting started, we’re excited about these early signs that we’re helping to solve the problem.

The Future.

At Elaborate, we believe that happy doctors lead to happy patients, which in turn leads to better health outcomes. We deeply respect the doctor’s role in the healthcare system and seek never to replace them, but to amplify their impact by eliminating redundancies in their day-to-day workflows. When doctors’ lives are easier and patients have the clarity they need to take charge of their health, everyone feels better. That’s a brighter care journey for all of us.

To help us reach our vision, we are thrilled to partner with our new investors, Tusk Ventures and Company Ventures, and more excited than ever to bring this game-changing tool to more doctors across the country. We’ll continue investing in our technology, making the tool even easier to use and customized to our clients’ preferences and workflows. Finally, we’ll grow our team as we continue to see accelerated growth, to pace with our superior, frictionless experience for patients and doctors alike.

I’m interested in hearing what you have to say. How do you think we can improve the experience of our doctors? What role can technology, especially AI, play in amplifying clinical staff? Excited to hear your thoughts!

Learn more about how Elaborate is modernizing health data at

About the Author

About the Author

Nicole Bocskocsky

CEO and Founder of Elaborate. Problem solver. Team builder. Healthcare nerd. Proud alum of Parsley, Oscar, OW, Harvard. 8‑time marathoner.

Continue reading

Keep tabs on Elaborate.

Keep tabs

on Elaborate.

Sign up to be notified of the latest updates.

Signed up!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.