StorComm joins forces with EPR firm MedPlus

StorComm joins forces with EPR firm MedPlusCompanies to provide access images from ChartMaxxThe integration of medical images into the electronic patient record continues to spark interest from customers. In response, digital image

StorComm joins forces with EPR firm MedPlus

Companies to provide access images from ChartMaxx

The integration of medical images into the electronic patient record continues to spark interest from customers. In response, digital image management firm StorComm and electronic patient record provider MedPlus have entered into a nonexclusive cooperative marketing relationship and announced integration of their product lines.

As a result of the alliance, StorComm will be able to promote the EPR firm's ChartMaxx offering to its customers, while MedPlus can recommend StorComm's ImageAccess image management system to its customers. In addition, clinicians can gain access to the ImageAccess system directly from the ChartMaxx application. Diagnostic quality images from imaging modalities can now be viewed with a single mouse click on an icon, according to Jacksonville, FL-based StorComm.

The alliance illustrates the benefits of a multivendor approach in achieving an image-enabled electronic patient record, said George Treiber, senior vice president of research and development and chief technology officer for StorComm. Images will continue to reside on the StorComm archive due to their large sizes, said Tim McMullen, vice president of marketing for MedPlus of Cincinnati.

In the radiology department, high-end ImageAccess workstations will run independently from ChartMaxx for now, Treiber said.

"It's a bit of a challenge to work on a gray-scale workstation with a product that's designed with color coding," Treiber said. "The color is the only reason, however, that ChartMaxx won't run on the radiologist's workstation."

The two companies are in discussion about potential ways of overcoming this problem, Treiber said.

The first site to take advantage of the StorComm/MedPlus integration effort will be Clarksville Regional Health System, in Clarksville, TN. Preliminary work on that project is under way. Clinical testing of the system will begin in the second quarter.

Although not actively soliciting similar agreements with other PACS firms, MedPlus would be willing to work with other PACS firms if the customer desires, McMullen said. Likewise, StorComm, in keeping with its wish to serve as a systems integrator, will work with other EPR vendors if the customer wishes.

"My goal is to be an icon on everybody's electronic patient record," Treiber said.

In other StorComm developments, the company has announced that it will install ImageAccess at Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, MS. ImageAccess will be employed for collection, storage, and distribution of images throughout a wide area network, according to a representative of the 624-bed acute-care hospital. Teleradiology will also be employed to allow remote clinics and affiliated hospitals to send studies to Baptist for interpretation.