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2/1/2012
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Allscripts Broadens Speech Recognition Choices In EHRs

EHR vendor now will offer both M*Modal and Dragon's software to its customers.

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Allscripts has entered into a reseller and development agreement with M*Modal Inc., which calls for the integration of M*Modal's speech and language understanding technology into Allscripts' acute and ambulatory electronic health records (EHRs).

Allscripts officials said it will continue to resell Dragon Naturally Speaking Network and Medical editions for use with its EHRs, but noted that adding M*Modal's technology will give Allscripts' healthcare clients access to another innovative speech recognition software option.

"Our speech recognition strategy is to provide our clients with options for what is quickly becoming a critical function of an EHR," Dan Michelson, chief marketing officer for Allscripts, told InformationWeek Healthcare. "The market demand for speech recognition functionality has increased significantly over the past three years due to the combination of the technology progressing, tighter integration between speech recognition and EHRs, and a more affordable price point."

M*Modal's technology, based on its Speech Understanding and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) platform, will help clinicians create voice-driven narrative patient documentation in Allscripts' EHRs. In a joint statement, both companies said they will also incorporate the M*Modal technology into Allscripts' mobility offerings including its Sunrise Mobile MD II product for on-the-go speech-understanding capability. Physicians using Sunrise Mobile for the iPad can view patient data, use real-time speech to create immediate and detailed progress reports and other clinical notes, and have this documentation available to drive actions in the Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager system.

[ Is it time to re-engineer your clinical decision support system? See 10 Innovative Clinical Decision Support Programs. ]

Michelson said adding M*Modal's technology will help Allscripts gain a competitive advantage over other EHR technologies on the market that don't incorporate speech recognition technology.

"The differentiator is the level of integration with voice which creates content-rich, voice-driven narrative patient documentation. The end result is more natural workflow generating more meaningful, actionable clinical content," Michelson said.

M*Modal's technology uses a cloud-based enterprise documentation platform to enable healthcare providers to speech-enable existing health information systems including EHRs, radiology information systems (RIS), and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS).

M*Modal also recently announced a strategic agreement with Merge Healthcare to integrate its speech- and language-understanding technology across Merge's portfolio including its imaging and radiology offerings.

Under its agreement with Merge Healthcare, M*Modal becomes a preferred partner of Merge with plans to integrate its speech and NLU into Merge's tools to help clients achieve meaningful use requirements for its EHRs. Together, M*Modal and Merge will seek to accelerate adoption of these speech-based tools across the Merge network of clients, which include 1,500 hospitals and 6,000 clinics with such specialties as imaging (representing one third of all U.S. imaging centers), cardiology, orthopedics and eye care, along with a full suite of clinical trials programs.

When are emerging technologies ready for clinical use? In the new issue of InformationWeek Healthcare, find out how three promising innovations--personalized medicine, clinical analytics, and natural language processing--show the trade-offs. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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