Cerner integrates ECGs with electronic
CHICAGO – At the recent
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conference, Cerner Corp.,
of Kansas City, Mo., showed an innovation in the area of
electrocardiogram (ECG) systems. The company claims to be the first in
the world to integrate ECG data into the electronic health record using
the DICOM imaging standard.
They’ve done this by partnering with Mortara Instrument Inc. of
Milwaukee, a non-invasive cardiology company, to create a DICOM-compatible
version of the E-Scribe ECG system for Cerner’s Millennium electronic
medical record platform.
There are many benefits to this – it means that hospitals don’t have to
maintain a separate archiving infrastructure for their ECG systems.
Instead, ECG images and results can be consolidated in the main
electronic medical record.
As well, it means that cardiologists can quickly obtain the patient
information they need from other parts of the electronic record – such
as allergies, medications, labs and previous cardiology tests. Other
physicians can quickly obtain the ECG records without having to transfer
to a different system.
What’s more, information can be collected wirelessly from ECG carts –
seconds after it is collected, it can be beamed from the cart directly
into the patient’s electronic record.
Interestingly, orders and worklists can be sent wirelessly from the
information system to the cart, allowing exams to start faster. “What
used to take half-an-hour is now done in minutes,” commented Cerner’s
Bill Waters, VP of Cardiology and Imaging.
So far, Cerner has sold 30 of the DICOM-compatible ECG applications, of
which 10 are up and running. The company said there is strong interest
from Canadian customers.
Cerner also demonstrated its MD Bus, as system that enables information
from all types of medical devices to be integrated into the electronic
chart. Data from pumps, monitors and even beds – such as the new
generation of smart beds that measure the patient’s weight – can all be
linked into the record. “We’re creating a plug-and-play bus,” said Scott
Porter, VP of TechWorks at Cerner. “You plug in your device, and it will
collect the information. It’s then collated in a single record.”
Finally, Cerner showed how it is integrating all types of visual
information into its PACS, enabling it to be viewed on a single
workstation. In addition to the standard radiological modalities, these
images include endoscopy, pathology, GI lab, OR, orthopedics and
ophthalmology. According to Cerner, the PACS can accommodate all of the
different workflows of these differing areas of the hospital.