‘The Data Must Move with the Patient’

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

Two Milwaukee technology companies are partnering to supply a cost-effective software and hardware solution to health care organizations. TeraMedica Inc., a health care technology company, created its Evercore clinical information manager in 2001 for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. In 2004, the firm formed a partnership with Capital Data Inc., a hardware reseller and consultant firm, to provide a complete package for health care organizations, said Jim Prekop, president and chief executive officer of TeraMedica.

Although Capital Data is not the exclusive hardware partner for TeraMedica, the partnership is in conversation to implement the package with five health care organizations in the state, according to Prekop and Tim LaMalfa, executive vice president of sales for Capital Data.

Capital Data also has created a unique leasing program for organizations that want to pay per use instead of making a large investment upfront, said John Steindorf, president of Capital Data.

Evercore is an independent software middleware solution that can collect and manage digital images taken from anywhere within a health care system, Prekop said. Evercore catalogs and indexes the images for storage and makes them available at different locations within the health care system, Prekop said.

"From a single software solution, organizations can manage information the way that they want from multiple (systems)," Prekop said. "The architecture was designed to work with multiple sources."

When images are created, the images are then directed to a central repository and are automatically managed and stored. The images can be brought up with an electronic medical record and follow legal retention and privacy requirements. When a hospital system purchases new technology, the images, in whatever media, can be migrated without added cost and time, Prekop said.

Evercore can also work with media that may become out of date or

a machine that has been discontinued, regardless of the manufacturer, according to Michael Morateck, picture archival and communications system (PACS) administrator for Waukesha Memorial Hospital, which is implementing the program.

The contract with Waukesha Memorial Hospital includes product licensing for use of Evercore through the ProHealth Care Inc. system, including Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, 13 clinics and multiple private practices, Morateck said.

ProHealth Care and Waukesha Memorial Hospital have signed on with Evercore because the organization needs to expand its network and implement different storage devices to manage the images, Prekop said. With the Evercore solution, Waukesha Memorial will also be able to reach doctors in remote locations, Prekop said.

"Evercore will allow us to handle all of our historic imaging studies," Morateck said. "We will be able to store (images) more cost-efficiently and manage their migration to newer media standards or for different retention standards."

With Evercore, not only can each department manage images according to retention and privacy policy requirements, but the images that no longer need to be stored are automatically removed.

The Evercore SmartStore enables each department within the health care organization to apply different storage policies, privacy policies or compression standards to the images. The Evercore Distributor matches the images with data and can distribute them securely throughout the network and over the Internet.

"Most people want to see an image digitally," Prekop said. "The consumer is a very visual customer and might want multiple opinions. The data must move with the patient, which is a new paradigm."

Evercore does not necessarily replace current clinical information managers or systems within a health care organization, but is used to enhance the automation of medical images so that physicians and administrators can focus on quality care, Prekop said.

"Evercore can provide a long term strategy for controlling costs and service levels when it comes to medical images," Prekop said.

"More and more organizations are performing digital procedures and the procedures are becoming more dense with more pictures per study," Prekop said. "One study could fill up a hard drive on a PC so it is important to have a storage strategy in conjunction with the software."

Implementation of the system ranges from $150,000 to $1 million, depending upon the size of the organization’s network, Prekop said.

Capital Data opened a Chicago location in May and hopes to expand the partnership into the Illinois market, LaMalfa said.

"(Hospitals are) retooling and rethinking their decisions in departmental settings," Prekop said. "They are maturing and growing and there are new things in the marketplace. There are things that they would do differently if they had the option. We help with the transition from the old to the new without having to throw everything away."

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