UW spin-out born out of doctor’s frustration with paper-based records

Van Eaton

The University of Washington is spinning out a new startup company by the name of TransformativeMed which has developed a new way for physicians more effectively communicate about patients. The technology — currently in operation at more than a half dozen hospitals, including Harborview Medical Center, the University of Washington Medical Center and Sinai Grace Hospital– works with the hospital’s existing electronic medical record system.

The company — founded by Dr. Erik Van Eaton, assistant professor of surgery and critical care at the UW, and David Stone – said it plans to have more than 20 customers in its first year and achieve profitability.

Van Eaton came up with the idea and built an early prototype in 2003 as a first-year UW surgical intern, noting that he was frustrated by the inefficient way daily patient updates were prepared for residents and attending physicians making hospital rounds.

“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,” said Van Eaton in a press release. “The current process of paper, email and Excel simply wasn’t going to be efficient or safe.”

The company said that the majority of hospitals in the U.S. do not have an electronic system to manage how physicians sign-out and hand-off patients to one another, with many relying on paper-based systems or Excel spreadsheets.

Advisors to the company include Ken Myer, former CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association, and Rob Arnold, CEO of Geospiza.