Zen Medical Technologies Launches Critical Test Results System

Radiologist-founded company debuts at HIMSS 2012 with its cloud-based critical results communication system that gives users control of how they receive messages.

Five years ago, Armen Hovanessian, MD, a radiologist in Las Vegas, discovered a large brain hemorrhage in a patient during a head CT and needed to contact the neurosurgeon immediately. In a case where seconds counted, he was sent on a “wild goose chase for a half an hour” to relay the finding.

“I had a patient almost die … because of incorrect and outdated information,” he said. The patient was saved, but Hovanessian said it was luck that helped him finally track down the surgeon.

This event prompted Hovanessian to develop a critical test results system to more effectively connect clinicians. His software company, Zen Medical Technologies, made its debut at HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas this month, unveiling its cloud-based application for sending and receiving critical test results and messages. The system, now in the end stages of beta testing, is designed to be more affordable and flexible, and it gives clinicians control on how they can send and receive messages.

Zen is modeled after the way people communicate outside of the hospital, Hovanessian said, such as text message and email. The application doesn’t interface with the RIS/PACS or hospital information system. Instead, it’s a cloud-based, subscription-based service that isn’t reliant on a particular device or platform.

Messages are tracked, and backups are built in to ensure a notification isn’t missed. A screen-capture feature allows the user to also include an image in the message. Further, Zen includes back-end analytics features allow organizations to track and measure - and thus work to improve - responses.

What makes it particularly unique, Hovanessia said, is the control it gives users. Subscribers can customize their profiles and determine how they want to be notified for critical, urgent and important findings, which are labeled 911, 912, and 913 respectively. A brain hemorrhage, an example of a 911 finding, might be relayed via a cell phone call, where a less critical finding like a lung nodule could be communicated via email or fax, Hovanessian said.

“There’s a balanced approach to the sender of the information and the receiver of the information,” he said. “It’s meant to really connect person to person.”

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