Nuance software developments promote patient safety

April 7, 2009

Unnecessary or inappropriate diagnostic procedures are not only costly, they can be dangerous. X-ray based procedures expose patients to radiation. Ones involving contrast media present the danger, albeit slight, of an adverse reaction. Many are the result of ineffective communication among healthcare providers. 

Unnecessary or inappropriate diagnostic procedures are not only costly, they can be dangerous. X-ray based procedures expose patients to radiation. Ones involving contrast media present the danger, albeit slight, of an adverse reaction. Many are the result of ineffective communication among healthcare providers.

Two products released from Nuance Communications are designed to reduce these dangers. One assures that the most appropriate radiologic test is ordered the first time around. The second provides the right information to the right clinician at the right time.

RadPort 2.0, the latest version of Nuance’s web-based, decision-support product, provides a scoring system to assess the appropriateness of imaging studies before they are performed. The system, developed under an exclusive licensing agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital, covers 65 of the most costly imaging procedures and incorporates 15,000 discrete indications and rules to help referring physicians determine whether the imaging study they are ordering is the optimal one when considering the patient’s history, physical findings, and condition.

RadPort 2.0 aims to address the need for cutting the cost of unnecessary imaging studies, which has been estimated to be as high as $10 billion a year. The product also focuses on concerns about the high radiation doses delivered to patients.

Nuance Veriphy 3.0 aims to satisfy compliance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ goal to reduce communication errors among healthcare providers, which have been cited as the most common causes of adverse sentinel events.

Veriphy 3.0 automatically tracks messages between healthcare providers, flags severe findings that require immediate attention, and makes sure that messages don’t fall through the cracks. To accomplish this, the software keeps the communication loop open until messages have been received and acknowledged by an authorized caregiver, according to the company.

Because the Veriphy upgrade can be integrated into existing workflow, it can provide reliable information about critical test results in less time. Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center cut critical result communication time from an hour to 16 minutes and helped increase the number of radiology exams processed by 15%, according to Nuance.