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Meet Ben McGraw of McGraw Systems in North Shore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben McGraw.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ben. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
McGraw Systems began in 2007 when I realized the need for better communication between patients and their behavioral healthcare providers.

I was suffering from major depression in 2007 and getting proper mental healthcare from my psychologists and psychiatrists was next to impossible. In a 50 minute therapy session, I would be asked questions for 35 minutes and then provided useless information the remainder 15 minutes that did not pertain to me. I felt like I was always “providing” information and getting no help in return. I felt like mental health professionals did not understand what was happening with me and did not care about me. I needed something to help myself as I was not getting help from people who were supposed mental healthcare professionals.

The problems I saw with mental healthcare first hand were compounded when my best friend from college committed suicide due to depression and other family and friend stories started to emerge. I felt a deep need inside of me to do something to help people.

My background is in software development. I decided in 2007 that a software solution could help patients suffering from any mental health condition communicate with their providers to improve mental health outcomes.

I built a product called bStable (www.bStable.com) while living in Boston and began spreading the word at DBSA, NAMI and other mental health events. I refined the product over the years not only with patients and loved ones around the world but doctors at McLean Hospital in Boston. I was invited to speak about bStable at the International Review of Bipolar Disorders in Lisbon in 2009. Spring Lake Ranch deployed bStable in 2011 (www.springlakeranch.org). By 2015, I had over 1,000 patients and loved ones around the world using bStable.

In 2015, I decided to move beyond patients and loved ones and into the large provider and payer market. I began talking with these organizations but they wanted solid study data showing bStable helped patients.

Turns out my parent’s friend was on the board of Caminar (www.caminar.org) which is a nonprofit, community-based agency that has been providing support services to individuals with mental health disorders for more than 50 years based in San Mateo, CA.

I presented the idea of running a bStable study with their population and Caminar accepted the idea. The 6 month study showed that using bStable, 50% more time was spent working on client issues vs. just gathering information the traditional way. All of this was possible by the patient using bStable on a regular basis and sending a report to their mental healthcare provider prior to the visit.

The quality of the visits with the users of bStable was a 9 of 10 vs. the non-bStable group that was a 6 of 10.

The RN assigned to the study commented: “The more clients that use bStable and the more I work with bStable, the more efficient and meaningful the meetings are.”

The bStable pilot study measured the quality of the office visit from the perspective of the RN. How the RN measured the office visit were the following 6 categories:

1. General smoothness/flow of conversation
2. Amount of time spent asking questions
3. How well the RN felt like they were understanding what the client was sharing
4. Basic quality of information exchanged
5. Number of topics adequately covered
6. Ability to determine if a severe problem requires a more focused assessment

I presented the results at Caminar’s 3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium: http://www.caminar.org/2017-mental-health-symposium to great applause.

Because of the above results, Caminar is deploying bStable to 50 of their clients.

From the study data, bStable has proven itself to be an enterprise ready software application for any mental healthcare provider organization.

Has it been a smooth road?
NO Way. It has been a 10 year struggle. Here’s some:

1. I funded the entire company myself for 10 years while working a full-time job and raising kids

2. The users of bStable typically do not have money so I gave the software away for free (thus the need to find provider or payer clients that had money)

3. Getting an organization to run the study was very difficult. Caminar and the board members were a blessing.

4. I ran all aspects of the company. I outsourced when necessary but that cost me money.

But… hearing stories about how bStable was helping people manage their mental health disease state was all worth the time, money, energy, sweat and tears.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with McGraw Systems – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
McGraw Systems was formed in 2008 to assist those struggling with mental health illnesses.

Our flagship product, bStable, is designed to optimize patient and mental health provider communication in order to improve mental health outcomes.

bStable allows patients and providers to proactively monitor mental health symptoms to aid in preventing crisis situations. The system provides easy access to patient information and issues, allowing mental health professionals to process solutions quickly. bStable supports any mental health illness or disease state. There is no other product that has the vast depth that bStable has for mental health tracking and communication.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Boston is an amazing location for healthcare and innovation. The weather is the downside… 🙂

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.bstable.com
  • Phone: 6174169136
  • Email: ben@mcgrawsystems.com

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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