Medical Software Company PatientStream Attracts $500,000 Venture Investment From the W Fund
Developed at UW Harborview Medical Center, PatientStream’s Technology Modernizes How Surgery Teams Communicate
PatientStream, a new company that has developed an innovative electronic patient tracking system for hospitals, has garnered $500,000 in funding from the W Fund and its partners. The service is currently being used in more than 50 departments across the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Northwest Hospital. CEO Ben Andersen developed the technology with Peter Ghavami at UW’s Harborview Medical Center, and co-founded PatientStream with COO Keith Strekenbach.
“We have improved our efficiency of operations by 90 percent, which means that surgeries now start on-time 80 percent of the time, versus 40 to 50 percent of the time before we had PatientStream,” said Don Millbauer, Director of Perioperative Services at Harborview Medical Center. “That’s a dramatic change for patients, hospital staff, and the bottom line.”
In a Harborview Medical Center outpatient department, patient satisfaction improved by 25 percent after implementing PatientStream. The department uses PatientStream to actively monitor patient wait times, and when a patient approaches a threshold, an alert is sent to a team member who then intervenes to expedite the patient’s visit and to preserve a positive patient experience.
“I’m excited to be starting with an implemented, second-generation product,” said Streckenbach. “And it helps that UW Medicine surgery departments are singing the praises of the technology and taking prospect phone calls. This really expedites the sales process.” Streckenbach recently sold another healthcare technology company he co-founded, Pharmacy OneSource, to Wolters Kluwer after growing nine SaaS applications into market leaders. More than 1,300 hospitals rely on those applications to manage patient safety, clinical effectiveness and pharmacy productivity.
Andersen first developed the technology at Harborview as a modern alternative to the outdated whiteboards used for tracking patients. He worked with UW’s Center for Commercialization to develop a scalable business model and then licensed the technology from UW to bring the solutions to market as PatientStream. Prior to working at Harborview Medical Center, Ben cofounded a technology consulting company specializing in mobile technologies
“The W Fund is focused on finding the very best entrepreneurs and scientists within our state research institutions and providing them with capital to build meaningful businesses,” said Greg Gottesman, Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group and a member of the W Fund Investment Committee. “We loved that Ben was a real entrepreneur within the UW hospital system that had already gotten a huge amount of organic traction for his product. That customer validation really made PatientStream stand out from other early-stage ventures.”
“PatientStream is one of several technologies that are spinning out of UW’s top hospitals,” said Linden Rhoads, W Fund General Manager and head of the UW Center for Commercialization. “The technologies benefit enormously from years of development inside a world-class teaching hospital, with constant customer feedback. This is the dream of how product development should happen.”
PatientStream, Inc. helps US hospitals offset shrinking reimbursements with innovative cloud-based applications, including an electronic whiteboard, that automate perioperative information exchange among anesthesia providers, surgeons, nurses and ancillary staff. Customers have experienced 90 percent improvement in on-time first case starts, 30 percent improvement in average turnover time and an estimated savings of $40 per procedure. Staff always have operations information at their fingertips, even at home on the weekends, and no longer need to interrupt the surgery team with phone calls to know exactly what is going on.
About the W Fund
The W Fund is a $20 million private venture fund focusing on earliest-stage investments in technology-based start-up companies from research across Washington. The W Fund will provide selected technology-based start-ups from the University of Washington, Washington State University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and other research institutions and independent efforts across Washington the runway to reach key milestones and attract follow-on investment, to grow and succeed in Washington.