As a periodontist, Jill Bashutski has insider knowledge about the challenge of transferring a client from a dentist to a specialist: general offices have to call, fax, email, or text a specialist office, and the patient is often left out of the loop. Every specialist has unique systems which require general offices to adapt to different practices. Frustrated with the inefficiencies and unpredictability of transferring clients, Jill Bashutski and Deryl Dangstorp teamed up to create Tetherport.

“We needed a software program that could manage and tether all of our information, especially to know where a patient is in their treatment process,” Jill Bashutski explains. “Now, when a general dentist refers a patient to our office, we can see that referral has been made—unlike the experience of calling a taxi where you’re just waiting and hoping that it’s coming.”

Tetherport is a time referral management and business intelligence software built for dental specialists, general dentists, and dental labs. The secure referral portal connects clinics and labs resulting in saved time, better communication, and streamlined efficiency. Within the system, specialist staff can manage incoming referrals, schedule appointments, and coordinate patient treatment with general dentists.

“Patients are often told that someone will phone them to book their specialist appointment, but how do they know when? It’s a black hole of referrals,” Bashutski shares. “But in the system now, referring dentists are communicated to in real-time so they are kept in the loop and can see their status.”

In the Tetherport portal, practitioners have a dashboard view of their patients and the different sources of referral. Each patient has a status bar where to-do items are generated and tasks are flagged when follow-up is required.

Along with improving communication between offices and increasing dentists’ referral base, Tetherport also compiles data that helps businesses and the overall healthcare field. For general dentists, specialists, and labs, they can tell how many referrals they receive and use data to improve the patient experience. “We can look at demographics and even communication styles to best pair a patient with a surgeon with who they’ll work the best with,” Bashtuski says. “Some surgeons have ways of communicating that might resonate better, so it maximizes the outcome for everyone.”

When it comes to healthcare performance, the shared data provides accurate measurements for statistics such as how many people have gum disease in the province or the percentage of 18-year-olds who need their wisdom teeth removed.

“As our community has grown, we have over 250 offices using Tetherport now,” Bashutski smiles. In September 2020, Tetherport partnered with one of the largest dental supply companies in the world and they have been supporting with distribution, sales, and continuing education for dentists. As they continue the partnership, the primary goal is to expand the network since greater usage will help the system function its best.

Quickly gaining traction in North America, the Tetherport team is also planning to expand its launch and currently translating the system into multiple languages. “Every country has a different referral culture, so we’ve been investigating that to ensure we work well across borders,” Bashtuski says. They also hope to be able to apply the Tetherport functions to broader healthcare in the future, such as chiropractic, ophthalmology, and more to tie everything together and improve healthcare on a larger scale.

Bashutski and the Tetherport team are ecstatic to call Saskatchewan the founding place of their technology. With a healthcare system that was easy to enter into and integrate into, Tetherport also received a lot of support from Cultivator and WESK Founders Table.

“I thought being in a smaller place would be a disadvantage, but the more that I talked to people in the Saskatchewan tech sector, the better the advantage of a tight-knit community filled with experts,” Bashtuski smiles. “Someone’s worth on their CV doesn’t capture everything; there’s no substitute for knowing people and celebrating each other’s successes.”

Founders: Jill Bashutski, Deryl Dangstorp

Incorporation Date: March 2020

Employees: 15–20