(EDITOR’S NOTE: The second largest office for Knoxville-based PYA, the power behind teknovation.biz, is in Atlanta which is arguably the economic center of the Southeast. The city also has a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that we will be spotlighting from time to time.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Andrew Halasz says he chose the name of his company to connote its focus – visibility into healthcare – with the goal of helping cut costs and streamline complicated processes.
The emphasis of Vizzia Technologies, which has a major presence in the Atlanta metro area, makes sense given the experience of Halasz, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He’s a former GE guy where he was obviously exposed to Six Sigma and lean manufacturing concepts. Later, as a senior executive with Recall Corporation, he ran a series of global business units including those embracing radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.
During his time at Recall Corporation, Halasz was exposed to RFID as companies moved away from bar codes to RFID to track items.
“We put RFID readers on forklift trucks that scanned the entire warehouse for inventory,” he explained.
In 2005, Halasz combined his knowledge of process improvement and RFID tracking to found Vizzia Technologies in partnership with one of his Recall Corporation colleagues.
“That was way back before real-time location systems (RTLS) were deployed,” he noted.
Fast forward to today, and the company that houses most of its senior executives in Atlanta is applying its expertise to the healthcare sector where cost containment and greater efficiency are demanded.
“What we believe is important in healthcare is understanding what has actually happened,” Halasz told us during a recent interview in Atlanta. “We started Vizzia based on equipment and helping hospitals distribute it in an efficient way so clinicians always have what they need when they need it for their patients.”
The CEO explained that the average hospital only utilizes about 40 percent of its equipment at any one time, while the average nurse spends 21 minutes per shift searching for misplaced equipment. Further adding to the problem is the loss of anywhere from five to 15 percent of the equipment annually due to loss and theft.
All of these inefficiencies and costs are ultimately passed on to the payors and consumers.
Vizzia Technologies’ approach to assets management utilizes RFID in combination with real-time location system (RTLS) technologies in a way that increases equipment utilization rates by more than 20 percent almost immediately.
“We eliminate the need for as many rentals (of equipment) by right-sizing the fleet,” Halasz explained. Obviously, that goes directly to the hospital’s bottom line.
More recently, Vizzia Technologies has added process improvement solutions focused on the patient, starting in the Emergency Department where wait times can be long and patients frequently leave before treatment.
Utilizing RTLS technology, the company’s system captures information on the patient after what Halasz characterizes as “each interaction.” The captured data are analyzed and used to drive process improvements.
“We’ve seen improvements of 20 to 40 percent in patient throughput and with higher patient satisfaction scores,” Halasz says. It’s all based about learning where the bottlenecks are in the process, combined with more robust and advance communications which eliminates unnecessary wait times when delivering healthcare.
The company has taken very little outside investment and has clients across the country.