Adding images to patient electronic medical records greatly enhances your documentation and medical effectiveness, and is easier than you think.

Eyecare is an increasingly image-driven subspecialty. Advancements in diagnostic testing like fundus photography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) improve patient care as well as patient diagnosis and treatment. Here’s help in how you can add these and other images to your EMR software.

Topcon Medical Systems
Topcon Medical Systems, Inc. offers several solutions for integrating imaging into your EMR. The Topcon EZ Capture is basic software used to capture and save images taken with a Topcon imaging device like a retinal camera or slit lamp. EZ Capture is simple and intuitive to use and connects with most EMRs. The Synergy Ophthalmic Data Management System is at the other end of the spectrum. This web-based software integrates images from Topcon instruments (and over 130 other systems) into a single digital environment. With Synergy you can view, compare, make notes on, and transmit images from workstations and remote computers and it is compatible with most EMRs.

Carl Zeiss Meditec
Do you have a small or mid-size practice? Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. has the answer with FORUM GO. This package is installed on a computer and links up to three Zeiss diagnostic instruments and the data can be accessed from three different workstations simultaneously.

FORUM GO also allows the eye-care provider to access a test performed at one location even if the patient was seen at another site. The FORUM GO packages can be linked to the EMR and can be upgraded as your practice grows to the more comprehensive management solution FORUM, which allows integration of numerous Zeiss and other instruments including OCT, photography, angiography, and visual field images.

Merge Eye Care Solutions
Merge Eye Care Solutions provides a collection of products for ophthalmic imaging and information management. The software integrates at various levels with cameras, instruments, and EMR systems. Merge Eye Care picture archiving and communication system (PACS) integrates all diagnostic devices and the EMR in an eyecare practice into one system, giving ECPs the ability to review all of their patients’ images and diagnostic reports from anywhere, at any time, using a web browser. Several devices are fully integrated with Merge for increased clinic efficiency, including Heidelberg Engineering, Inc.’s Spectralis SD-OCT, OCULUS Pentacam Scheimpflug device, and Haag-Streit’s Octopus. Many devices use an Auto Import function to automatically import diagnostic images for review within Merge Eye Care PACS.

NAVIS (Nidek Advanced Vision Information System) from NIDEK Inc. is an operating system that integrates patient databases and most instrument exams and images. It allows automatic acquisition of images from slit lamps, retinal cameras, corneal topographers, B scans, and other devices. Software applications are available for fluorescein angiography analysis and measurement. NAVIS workstations are connected using a local area network.

The Heidelberg Eye Explorer, or “HEYEX,” from Heidelberg is the heart of all of the company’s instruments, such as SPECTRALIS, HEP, and HRT. The central patient database and uniform user interface allow the review of images nearly anywhere in the practice without compromising on tools or image quality. HEYEX has been designed to integrate into a variety of workflows, enabling connectivity to EMR and other PACS solutions based on established standards. In addition, it offers management of third-party images, providing imaging needs for solo practices all the way up to large multi-specialty clinics.

The way we deliver eyecare continues to change. These imaging solutions increase efficiency and enhance the transition to a paperless environment.

Kim Pickett is a certified ophthalmic medical technologist and ophthalmic writer in Minneapolis, MN.


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