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Jason Buskirk of Health Care DataWorks

Jason Buskirk is co-founder of Health Care Dataworks, an Ohio State University technology spinoff that develops software to analyze information from electronic medical records (EMR) and billing systems. The company's COO for five years, Buskirk was named CEO in July following a re-alignment in company leadership.
What does your company do?
We're a leading provider of what the industry calls enterprise analytic solutions. We have a product suite called KnowledgeEdge, which delivers an enterprise data-warehousing model that users can access via a web interface. The software looks at hundreds of different metrics - patient throughput, revenue cycle measures and more - that allow healthcare organizations to improve quality of care while also reducing costs.

Our solution pools data into one location, with an interface on top of it. There's no illusion we can create all the metrics a company will be interested in. That's why we also offer user-driven analytics, allowing customers to create their own measures on the fly
Who are your clients?
Our clients are hospitals or large, integrated healthcare delivery networks. Our application is also applicable to smaller community hospitals.
What does the shift in leadership mean for your company?
As a company evolves, it has to stay ahead of industry needs and wants. We're banking on the fact that HCD has a team with deep leadership experience from a business perspective. We are aware of what it will take to build on our reputation for delivering quality solutions and continue to grow our business. As CEO, I'm very excited to be in the position of directing the success of this organization.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
It started at a very young age when my mom would buy me gum and I'd sell it to kids at school. I saw a demand and filled it. Years later during the dot-com bubble I was in Columbus working for a telecom startup. I made it through a few rounds of layoffs and realized I wanted something more stable. OSU's medical center had an opening and that's when I first got into data warehousing.
What advice would you give to someone starting a company in Columbus?
The city has some great resources available. When we started the company (in 2009), TechColumbus gave us a grant to get our contracts established, and they were always available to answer questions. Anyone building a company here should look at the resources available and take advantage of them.
What inspires you?
People are often intimidated by data in the different applications they use. But when I sit in front of our users and see them play around with our interface, I see their eyes light up when they realize what a powerful tool they have. That's what keeps me going. Lots of users are starved for this type of info. They see how easy our solution is, and that's when I know we're having an effect.
Interview by Douglas J. Guth

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