Electronic health records
Northern Health centralizes dictation,
Columbia’s Northern Health, one of Canada’s largest health regions by
geography, announced that it has chosen Crescendo Systems Corp., of
Laval, Quebec, to provide a central dictation and transcription platform
for the group’s 28 remote healthcare facilities and public health units.
The new, integrated system is to be one of the key pillars of Northern
Health’s eHealth initiative, which is aimed at improving patient care
and providing care-givers with efficient, secure access to critical
patient information. The Crescendo technology was selected following a
tendering process in December 2006 and is currently being rolled out to
over 750 users.
Northern Health provides health services to 390,000 people in a
catchment area that’s over 600,000 square kilometers – a geographical
area that’s larger than France. The group was looking to increase
efficiency by linking all its transcription work into one single pool
from which it could be easily prioritized and dispatched throughout the
region. The group then decided to unify its dictation data as well, to
provide a central repository of all patient information.
“As most of patient data is dictated and then transcribed, we considered
a central platform to be the very first, critical step to the electronic
patient record,” said Doris Gemmell (pictured), Project Manager, Integration,
Health Link North, Information and Technology Services.
Over 700 physicians will be able to dictate over the phone (with boom
microphones for hands free access in pathology), or on their PCs, while
their voice files will be streamed over the transcription pool in
real-time, using the Crescendo Wide Area Service. Thanks to voice
streaming technology, CWAS will also ensure optimal security in
compliance with PIPEDA requirements (no duplication of file, no file
sitting on local PCs, etc.).
The 45 full-time and 40 part-time transcriptionists will be equipped
with Crescendo’s advanced medical transcription application, MedRite-IP,
for access to productivity tools.
“The other key aspect was to ensure a proper integration between the new
dictation and transcription platform and other key information systems,
such as our Cerner RIS and Fuji/McKesson PACS systems,” explained
Gemmell. “Based on Crescendo’s previous interface projects with all
major PACS and RIS vendors, we were confident in their ability to help
us build the integrated IT environment that is so critical to the
quality of patient care.”
Once the integration is complete, radiologists will be able to dictate
directly from the PACS system without having to open several
applications, while patient demographics and other critical information
will be fed through various HL7 interfaces.
“We are extremely proud to work with Northern Health on such a
large-scale project, both geographically and technically. I believe
Northern Healthcare’s choice is representative of the current need of
large healthcare groups for premise-based, open-source technology that
allows for the efficient management and secure exchange of medical
data,” concluded Costa Mandilaras, President and co-founder of Crescendo