There’s no more natural way to convey information than speech and arguably no more difficult interface for a computer to capture. Agfa has come up with a couple new twists to help. Viztek takes a swing at tighter integration between PACS and EMRs, while IT specialists include first responders in the chain of medical communications and refine ways for providers to keep on top of their financials.
- Agfa HealthCare released TalkStation 4.0 at HIMSS 2009. This latest version of Agfa’s integrated speech recognition product, designed specifically for radiology, includes features that improve physician efficiency, enhance speech recognition, and provide tighter integration with the company's Impax PACS. Among the several new capabilities are customized activity worklists, attending physician rejection of reports, and “read-out” workflow for joint report approval by resident and attending physician. A "My Activities" toolbar helps radiologists find preliminary and corrected reports. Color coding draws attention to areas of the report at increased risk for inaccuracy.
- Viztek debuted a URL-based integration to electronic medical records systems for its Opal-RAD PACS. The new features enable access to PACS information directly through EMR worklists. Once users open a patient file, a single click automatically launches the Viztek viewer and displays the desired exam. Viztek is framing the new functionality as being particularly beneficial for specialty clinics, which the company expects will be increasingly focused on EMR functionality under the new government administration.
- MedRed launched an emergency first responder command and communications platform that promises faster and more accurate analysis of and response to complex emergencies. The software application, called EFR MedCom, developed in collaboration with the National Health Information Network , allows emergency responders at local, state and federal levels to communicate and collaborate in emergency situations such as catastrophic accidents, natural disasters and terror attacks. It gives first responders the ability to download relevant health information at the site and then communicate the data to key personnel, health centers and agencies nationwide to help formulate and activate response plans.
- IT services provider Keane launched its Keane Optimum, a software suite aimed at improving financial performance and patient care. The suite minimizes the expense that hospitals and long-term care facilities incur keeping track of business operations, improves accounts receivable cycles, reduces medical errors, and simplifies complex third-party billing, according to the company.