Misys promotes efficiency through bilingual IT communications

April 13, 2006

Efficiency is driving the IT market, and brokerless information exchange is driving efficiency at institutions deploying IT products from Misys Healthcare Systems.

Efficiency is driving the IT market, and brokerless information exchange is driving efficiency at institutions deploying IT products from Misys Healthcare Systems.

Misys software engineers are building "bilingual" technologies that speak HL7 and DICOM. With these brokerless systems, RIS and PACS can exchange information, effortlessly transmitting updates.

"Traditionally, the user had to log onto two systems or the data weren't exchanged," said Dave Jones, Misys senior product manager. "With a brokerless PACS that speaks both languages, those data updates and data passages happen transparently."

In the third quarter of this year, the company plans to take it up a notch, adding computer-aided interpretation to the data flow. Ordered exams will be evaluated by a rules-based engine for their appropriateness to patient condition and circumstances. These rules will be applied whether a referring physician is ordering a radiology exam or a nurse is ordering laboratory tests. The end result, the company hopes, will be better patient care and fewer reimbursement problems.

"They'll be starting with the right exam with the right people and the right resources," Jones said.

This computer-based intelligence will come from Version 5 of Misys Connect. The basic platform is designed to serve as a single secure means for accessing patient data from any care setting or clinical system, including the laboratory, physician office, homecare provider, and radiology.

Misys Connect speaks HL7 and DICOM and uses Internet protocols, including HTTPS and XML. Service and message interfaces are Web-based and bidirectional. Data such as patient demographics, medication information, allergies, test results, and problem lists can be imported into any participating system from any other. Medical records can be accessed either through a stand-alone Web application or a third-party system that hooks up with Misys Connect. Individual IT solutions can, but don't have to, come from Misys.

"Our products will work with any system," Jones said.

The rules-based engine being designed into Version 5 is intended to make healthcare more efficient. It is based on the idea that healthcare resources are being stretched ever thinner. Staff are being asked to do more, hospitals are cutting back on budgets, and radiologists are getting harder to find even as physicians are ordering more exams, he said.

"Unless we fix this, the errors are going to go up, and more patients are going to get hurt or die," Jones said. "We decided to automate those processes through quality technology that allows staff to concentrate on their jobs."

Connect is part of the company's Misys Optimum family of products to promote patient information sharing across and among organizations and different technology platforms.

"The goal is to reach out beyond departmental borders and break down those walls where silos of information have existed for years, removing the barriers that have caused problems," Jones said.

If the company succeeds with Version 5, it may break down the toughest barrier to effective healthcare of them all - human error.