Veteran-owned company finds business success

Book Zurman, Inc. of Pinellas County

Book Zurman Inc. is a company that develops interoperability standards for electronic health records, specifically for veterans and their families. The company moved to the healthcare space in 2010.

Brian Book, President of Book Zurman Inc., is a Desert Storm, disabled veteran who saw the need for computer software within the community for the VA (Veteran’s Administration) to share information with third party healthcare organizations. Passionate about improving the lives and health of future members of the military and veterans alike, Book sought out to find a solution.

“I had an invested interest in the success of the VA because I am a customer and consumer of the VA product. I always want to do whatever I can to help the veteran community receive the best healthcare that is possible. That healthcare largely happens in the VA but also in the private community and the ability for the VA to share that information in the community is very important,” Book said.

Book Zurman Inc. had a mission, but they faced challenges navigating through the government to do business. “Because the barrier for entry is so high in the government space the SBDC (PTAC) helped us to overcome some of those barriers and help guide us through the maze of government agencies and the maze of websites and other areas that were required for us to set up and do business with the federal government,” Book said.

“When we launched into work with the federal government, it’s very difficult to navigate that environment and when started we didn’t have a whole lot of help and we hadn’t discover the SBDC (PTAC) and we made lots of mistakes. I say often, that we stepped on many landmines,” Book added.

The Florida PTAC at Pinellas County Economic Development specifically helped Book Zurman Inc. with its CVE (Certified Veteran Enterprise) certification, a certificate that verifies the company as a disable veteran owned small business and gives support for funding and financing.

“Our biggest success so far has been the award of our newest contract with the VA that allows us to provide interoperability standards support and subject matter expertise in interpretation and implementation of healthcare standards within the VA,” Book said.

This past May, the VA awarded Book Zurman a $20.7 million 5-year integrated health standards contract.

“As we move forward, it’s very important that not only the VA but the healthcare industry has computable data that can help lead to a learning healthcare system,” Book added.

Not only is Book passionate about the success of his own company, he is involved with other veteran-owned businesses as well.

“As a business owner and a veteran, I wanted to help other veteran-owned companies to not have to have the same learning experience as we did so I’ve tried to help other veteran businesses understand how to navigate the environment, what the expectations of the government are, how to find opportunities, how to team with other companies, how to create lasting relationships with other companies that allow them to be successful in the government space, “ Book said.

“I would say other businesses looking to start up in Pinellas County go to the SBDC, use the resources that they have and they’ll definitely speed the path to success and profitability,” Book added.