By HOJUN CHOI
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
ESO Solutions, a health data exchange startup, provides software to help ambulance services better monitor their performance, and helps hospitals use that data to improve patient care.
The Austin-based company started in 2004, when Dillie, its CEO, decided to drop his real estate business to follow his passion of helping people in need. Before he began investing in real estate, Dillie served as a volunteer firefighter and an emergency medical service paramedic.
“I really enjoyed helping people,” Dillie said. “At the same time you’re put in situations where you’re forced to think a lot; you’re constantly solving puzzles.”
After spending time as a paramedic, Dillie also worked as a manager of an EMS station, where he was in charge of quality control.
“We had a really hard time knowing how well we were providing services because we didn’t have data,” Dillie said.
It was during this time that Dillie’s real estate business became too large to juggle with the managerial position at the EMS station. However, When John Dadey, who would serve as the president of the company, approached him with the idea of developing what would become ESO Solutions in 2003, Dillie could not resist.
“The reason I left real estate is because this very quickly became my passion,” Dillie said. “I saw what the market could hold and I was really passionate about how our product could change the industry.”
In order to address the gap that Dillie learned of as a manager of a EMS station, ESO Solutions offers software suites that allows for data exchange between hospitals and EMS providers to ensure higher quality care.
From the moment a 911 operator is contacted to provide emergency services, the company’s software tracks what type of diagnosis is made, as well as what types of treatments and medications are given to the patient on-site.
As the patient is passed along to a hospital, the software also helps deliver that data to the hospital to see what mistakes -if any, were made during that process.
Because many hospitals use different types of databases to maintain their patient information, ESO Solutions translates that data into language that can be used by both EMS services as well as hospital systems.
Allen Johnson, the company’s vice president of health data exchange, said that previous forms of monitoring performance was based on a flawed system.
“We were measuring performance of paramedics based off of what we thought was wrong with the patient with no way of being able to tell if our diagnosis was correct in the first place,” Johnson said.
Johnson -who like Dillie, also has a background as a paramedic, said that prehospital ambulance services have changed over the years, making data exchange and analysis more pertinent to quality service.
“I think it’s a maturation of the industry,” Johnson said. “Over the last ten years or so, we went from medical directors being a local person who is nice enough to volunteer to many ambulance services today having directors that are on-site, full time.”
Kenny Schnell, the director of Williamson County Emergency Services, said that his station has used ESO’s data exchange software for three years. He said the software has helped not only the station, but the region that his station serves, manage their performance.
“Paramedics want to know how well they did,” Schnell said. “Getting the outcome data is big, because we want to see if we were on the right page.”
With the outcome data, Schnell said EMS stations can learn how to better educate their paramedics and come up with effective solutions for concentrating time and resources in the areas of care that are lacking.
ESO Solutions has more than 100 employees in the Austin area, and on July 12, announced an investment from Accel-KKR, a private equity firm with a focus in technology. Though the terms of that investment were not publicly disclosed, Dillie said the money will be used towards further developing the company’s software suite, as well as for team expansion.
“Again it’s the culture we have here,” Dillie said. “If you follow your passion, and do what you do passionately, money tends to follow.”