ZapIT! Improves Safety and Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare
Bryon Murray, CEO, and founder of ZapIT!, is a medical physicist. It is not your average job.
“Medical physicists ensure that the physician who looks at diagnostic images is getting the highest quality image possible,” Murray said. “In cancer treatment, the medical physicist’s job is to manage all the systems that calculate the dosage to ensure delivering the highest quality treatment, treating only the tumor while protecting the surrounding tissue.”
Bryon has been at it as the principal of his own consulting company for nearly 15 years. ZapIT! and the EQAR® (Electric Quality Assurance Record) system, “ZapIT! QA,” are the result of Murray’s years of field experience working with and learning from the challenges hospitals and medical teams faced in quality and compliance management in radiation medicine.
Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) Are Imperatives for Patient Outcomes and Safety for All
The scope of the quality assurance responsibility for radiation medicine ranges from diagnostic imaging machines and procedures–including x-rays, mammograms, CT scans, MRIs—to planning complex treatments and therapies in radiation oncology and more.
“ZapIT! QA solutions untangle the complex, often siloed systems that manage data in departments across hospitals,” Murray said. “We bring together all data from all systems and then connect all the people to all the data via a simple dashboard, accessible anywhere on any device so quality care and compliance can be understood in real-time.”
ZapIT! QA allows hospitals and clinics to manage all the quality assurance test data, service reports, and documentation for radiation medicine systems from one easy-to-use, dashboard-driven system.
In radiation medicine, a patient or a healthcare worker’s potential consequences from an out-of-spec machine, a software failure, or incomplete training of a technician are enormous. Quality testing and inspection are frequent and rigorous—by equipment manufacturers and machine maintenance teams, hospital medical technicians, medical physicists, etc.
“There is comprehensive testing that we do as physicists,” Murray said, “and there is quality testing that is done more routinely, even daily. For example, the radiology technicians come in every morning and run QC testing as dictated by state and federal regulations, accrediting bodies on insurance companies. Hospitals have to manage all that data. As medical physicists, we developed spreadsheets to help manage all that data, but it’s become way too cumbersome. There had to be a better way.”
Reporting requirements, both internal and external (government and insurance companies), are wide-ranging. The process produces reams of paperwork—quality control tests, service reports, quality assurance reports, radiation safety reports, to name a few. Violations, including failure to report or repair, can severely impact patient outcomes as well as a hospital department’s standings and operations.
ZapIT! QA is the result of numerous software trials, multiple pivots, and a determined focus typical of entrepreneurs and startups that succeed. The intelligent web application provides a completely paperless environment for data collected and documented due to quality control (QC), safety, service, and quality assurance activities for all equipment in healthcare facilities.
ZapIT! QA sends valuable alerts when machines are trending toward failure, when service or machine calibration is due when documentation or system changes occur, and even notices of recertification deadlines for hospital personnel, ensuring, in real-time, compliance and quality.
Next Steps for ZapIT! and EQAR®
“We continue reaching out and talking to customers,” Murray said. “People who use ZapIT! QA love the idea and appreciate the significant amount of time spent towards compliance. We initially tackled the complex requirements of quality assurance in imaging and oncology, which provides us a nice base to expand into other departments across the facility.”
With a minimally viable product commercialized in imaging and oncology, ZapIT! is refining the current solution based on customer feedback and validation. Murray says that early customers realize that they could be operating with failed test results with existing processes—reported on a paper that people don’t see.
“That light bulb turned on,” Murray said. “Data is being collected but not being analyzed. With ZapIT! QA compliance officers can have all the data in one place, helping them achieving compliance across all departments. We have done much of the front end work convincing people that this is something they need to do.”
ZapIT! QA provides a path to benchmarking and best practices, ultimately improving patient care.