What is the PowerScribe Radiology system?

The PowerScribe Radiology system has been available from fonix corporation’s HealthCare Solutions division in Boston since the beginning of 1998.

Through the end of the third quarter of last year, the company had more than 30 accounts signed in various stages of implementation to use the system, which offers both speech recognition and dictation and transcription in one product.

These accounts include Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, University of Alabama-Birmingham, and Cornell Medical Center in Ithaca, NY.

(To find out more about how Emory’s use of PowerScribe, see related story, p. 6.)

Interfaces with most systems

As part of these installations, Salt Lake City-based fonix has developed interfaces to information systems for major radiology system vendors including Shared Medical Systems (SMS) in Herndon, VA; Cerner Corp. in Kansas City, MO; ADAC Laboratories in Milpitas, CA; and IDX Corp. in Burlington, VT.

"We have a bidirectional HL7 interface to these radiology information systems or to the hospital information system (HIS)," explains Peter Durlach, executive vice president of HealthCare Solutions."Radiology orders are downloaded to PowerScribe via HL7 to get the patient name, demographics, and the type of study, such as MRI of the brain or CT of the chest," he adds.

This information is stored in the PowerScribe database. When physicians begin to dictate a report, they use the order number generated by the radiology system to bring the patient’s information onto the screen. After they have finished their dictation and the reports have been edited, the test results will be sent back to the radiology information system or the HIS by HL7.

Here are some of the specifications of the system:

o Multiuser and multi-station capability — the system supports an unlimited number of users and dictation stations.

o Client-server design — the system is designed with a flexible distributed architecture that enables the use of standard PCs for dictation and correction stations.

o Open database connectivity (ODBC). With minor modification, the system can run on any ODBC complaint database, such as Oracle, Sybase, and Redmond, WA-based Microsoft’s SQL Server.

o Microsoft SQL Server as the standard system database — the system provides data storage and access to tools for database management and reporting.

o Standard WAV files — the system works off a standard SoundBlaster compatible sound system.

o Compressed audio — the system compresses audio files to minimize utilization of available network bandwidth.

Last October, fonix corporation announced that the PowerScribe Radiology system had been selected as the winner for the Microsoft Healthcare Solution Award in the acute care clinical systems category.

Emergency component available

Microsoft annually sponsors the Healthcare Industry Solutions Award through the Microsoft Healthcare Users Group to select and promote health care applications that provide the most significant and demonstrable business benefits to health care customers and which run on key Microsoft technologies.

The Microsoft Healthcare Solution Award category winners were selected from approximately 75 entries, 22 of which made it to the final round.

Fonix also announced in October the introduction of PowerScribe EM, an integrated dictation and transcription system designed exclusively for emergency medicine departments. The system became available last November.

Editor’s note: For more information about either PowerScribe product, contact The MRC Group, Cleveland. Telephone: (800) 342-8283.