Dr. Gabe Charbonneau and Dr. Kirk Crews share their entrepreneurial journey of creating innovative tools, Fluent Systems that allow doctors to spend less time on the computer and more time with patients.

The ModernMD: Dr. Miles Beckett

Dr. Gabe Charbonneau and Dr. Kirk Crews are the Founders of Fluent Systems, EMR Automation platform, and small start-up in rural Montana. Gabe and Kirk are both family medicine doctors with a passion for helping other physicians in a new chapter of medicine that we call ‘the EMR era’ and preserving the ‘art of medicine’.


“Opportunity has knocked and I Answered”

Jim LeFevre


Dr. Charbonneau joined a family medicine practice in rural Montana where Dr. Crews was working and discovered early on that they wanted to optimize their work at a family medicine clinic to make it more efficient. It was a spontaneous journey to the business world as they started a “friendly competition” to see who could create better automation commands using Dragon to improve efficiency in the office. As these doctors profoundly believe problem solving is at the heart of medicine, listen as their quest to answer simple questions such as, “How can we input data better to reclaim patient based care?”, sparked the creation of Fluent Systems.

Advice for medical students and residents interested in Entrepreneurship:

We encourage students and residents to keep practicing in their fields to focus on solutions that help doctors and nurses do their jobs better. Hear why Dr. Charbonneau and Dr. Kirk believe that doctors need to live the problems in order to create the most optimal doctor-centric solutions.


The Idea: How can Electronic Medical Record (EMR) use automation tools? How can we better automate data input to reclaim patient based care? Listen to how this Fluent team built Swiftwire, by physicians for physicians, which uses a customized EMR toolbar for efficient data input.

Failures/Challenges: Listen to hear how a major set back focusing on Dragon software was the impetus for Swiftware’s creation and success.

Also pay attention to why both doctors believe that carving time to focus on innovation while maintaining your practice is a difficult but essential step to improving the medical field

Success: Dr. Charbonneau and Dr. Crews value hearing how doctors are once again able to have great interactions with patients and preserve the joy in helping others, which is why most doctors enter medicine.

Lesson Learned: Hear why Dr. Charbonneau and Dr. Crews recommend taking a step away to gain perspective and then coming back refreshed with new ideas.


Best Advice: We have just as much ability to change the world as anyone else and we need to present.

Daily Success Habit: Gabe and Kirk share their biggest daily success habits including

1) Exercising

2) Writing down strategies for being happy and grateful.

3) Being a scientist

Healthcare Trends:

What are the biggest healthcare trends?

Listen to why both doctors are excited that the pendulum is swinging back to a healthcare system that focuses on people, not data, emphasizing patient care.


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