UW Start-up Helps Doctors Manage Increasingly Complex Hand-off and Care of Hospitalized Patients

Female Doctor and nurse looking at laptop with business peopleA new University of Washington start-up company TransformativeMed, LLC has licensed proven technology from the university that significantly improves communication across the team of physicians caring for a patient, in response to the increasingly complex care transition that resulted from the 2003 regulation of resident work hours. The digital management technology lets physicians coordinate and streamline care transitions during the physician sign-out and handoff process in hospitals, all from within the hospital’s existing electronic medical record (EMR) system.

“TransformativeMed is positioned to meet the newly increased need for EMR systems and team-based medicine solutions because they’ve already implemented their solutions at UW-affiliated hospitals and other major medical centers,” said UW Vice Provost for Commercialization Linden Rhoads. The company’s solutions are implemented at two UW Medicine facilities—Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center—and seven hospitals not affiliated with UW Medicine—including Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Healthcare, Sinai Grace Hospital, Hutzel Women’s Hospital, Harper University Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. TransformativeMed expects to gain twenty or more new customers in 2012 and see profitability in its first year.

The company was founded by Dr. Eric Van Eaton, assistant professor of surgery and critical care at the UW, and David Stone, now the company’s CEO. Van Eaton created an early version of the application in 2003, when as a first-year UW surgical intern he was frustrated by the inefficient way daily patient status updates were prepared for residents and attending physicians making hospital rounds. “During my surgery residency, ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) had just instituted standards for resident work-week restrictions. It was clear at the time that we were going to need an electronic solution to manage what would become increasingly complex care-team transitions. The current process of paper, email and Excel simply wasn’t going to be efficient or safe,” said Van Eaton.

Currently, the majority of US hospitals lack an electronic system to manage the process of physician team sign-out and handoff. Instead, physicians continue to rely on static calendars, Excel spreadsheets and, to a large extent, paper during these transitions. In contrast, TransformativeMed’s sign-out solution (named CORES) facilitates efficient intra-team care handoff by allowing physicians to sign-out and coordinate care transition within the existing EMR system. This workflow optimization improves team efficiency while also reducing safety risks.

In addition, TransformativeMed’s Quality Safety Dashboard (QSD) transforms the volumes of data in existing EMR systems into real-time, actionable information, allowing providers to adjust their care when needed as opposed to reporting on it after the fact.

The company will offer its two products, CORES, a solution for ward rounds and physician handoffs, and QSD, a solution for dashboard monitoring of quality and safety, as third-party vendor applications on the industry-leading Cerner electronic medical record (EMR) platform installed in more than 2,000 hospitals around the world. “Our products integrate seamlessly into Cerner’s existing EMR platform,” said CEO and co-founder David Stone. “This allows our customers to leverage the value that is already present in their EMR investment, while at the same time maintaining a seamless experience for the clinicians in support of their workflow needs.”

TransformativeMed is entering the market just as the adoption of EMR systems at US hospitals is accelerating. Increasing adoption of team-based medicine at hospitals requires closer communication among all team members to ensure quality care and patient safety, and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s HITECH provisions mandate that the health care sector “meaningfully” adopt EMR technology to improve efficiency and quality of care. Market studies estimate the EMR market will grow 15 percent annually through 2015, becoming a $10 billion business.

About the University of Washington Center for Commercialization

UW researchers in hundreds of labs are making extraordinary innovations. As one of the leading recipients of federal funding for research, UW is producing innovations that have the power to change the world—from biofuel alternatives, to more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer, to purification technology for drinking water in the developing world. The Center for Commercialization (C4C) is committed to getting these research outcomes into products, services, therapies, diagnostics, and cures to where they can impact millions of people. Since its founding, C4C has helped create more than 260 companies in Washington state and abroad.

About TransformativeMed

TransformativeMed is committed to the vision that the electronic medical record needs to truly support physician workflow if it is going to improve hospital efficiency. We also believe that the time is now to transform the volumes of data that are being entered into the EMR’s databases into actionable information in support of quality outcomes. TransformativeMed is taking a unique approach to these problems and solutions by leveraging the concept of the EMR as a platform. This approach has allowed us to truly focus on these goals without the usual distractions of technology hosting and data integration. Instead, our clients are able to leverage their existing EMR investment along with our products to tackle these challenges in a cost effective manner that is seamlessly integrated into the physician’s EMR workflow.