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RealTime IT News

Med Charts Over Wi-Fi, STAT

You see them on every medical TV show — doctors consulting clipboard charts, filled with reams of paperwork with delicate and critical information about the patient.

How 20th century.

Catalis of Austin, Texas certainly thinks so. Founded and run by Dr. Randy Lipscher, the company's goal is to get rid of all that paper by getting its software application, Accelerator 3.0, into the hands of all the healthcare workers it can. The Web-based interface — called a graphical health record (GHR) — is perfect for tablet PCs, and requires no typing. Yet Lipscher claims the software delivers an increased data input rate. That's great, but how does Accelerator share its data?

Over wireless, of course — and to get that necessary Wi-Fi infrastructure in place, Catalis is teaming with Wayport, another Austin company with no lack of experience in the field.

"When we first met with Catalis months ago, they shared with us the application and what it looks like, how graphically it can show the human body to indicate to a patient their ailment, how it links with medical records," says Dan Lowden, vice president of business development and marketing for Wayport. "We were blown away."

The two companies will partner on appropriate deployments. Catalis customers without Wi-Fi infrastructure in place will be pushed toward Wayport as a provider. Lowden says Wayport will be building an entire division of the company devoted to the healthcare space, suggesting the Accelerator GHR where appropriate. What's more, when Wayport installs Wi-Fi in the healthcare facility, it can extend that service to waiting patients or visitors as an amenity so they can access the Internet while waiting around. It's a model similar to what Wayport provides at McDonald's, where its Wi-Fi helps run debit card readers and the like, but also offers for-fee connections to patrons.

Catalis spent several years doing research and development, but has already deployed Accelerator in a couple of university hospitals. The system can connect physicians with other areas of the hospital they might otherwise not be able to access directly, such as the pharmacy or radiology (finally, digital x-rays). The software takes care of coding and billing information, and even synchs with the receptionist to verify appointments and follow-up visits. Lipscher says that while similar systems exist, they can take weeks for training. He claims that Accelerator only takes two days of training for physicians to get comfortable with it. He calls it a "Mac interface in a DOS world."

"[The software] makes the office safer for patient data, checks drug interactions... and the physicians make more money, as the software has built-in account capabilities," says Lipscher. Not to mention that speeding up data entry means the docs just might get to go home earlier.