Legal and medical professionals are often criticized for being way behind the times in terms of thetechnologies they use in their offices. It seems as though any doctor’s or lawyer’s office you enter hasreams of papers and mountains of file cabinets taking up space just waiting to be lost, stolen ordestroyed in a disaster.
Based on trends with software development in other industries — especially with the use of open sourceproducts — one would think that doctors and lawyers would have dozens of programs tailored to their unique needs. Not so. A relatively small number of software makers cater to this vertical market.
Doctors and lawyers generate huge amounts of electronic records (including patient/client records, e-mailcommunications, etc.) and are under increasing regulatory and legal scrutiny. With recent changes to theFederal Rules to Civil Procedure, courts are requiring solo law practitioners and large practices alike tobecome litigation-ready and establish the integrity of their electronic records over their retentionperiods and throughout their chain of custody, independent of their own people, processes and systems.
We scoured the inventories of software manufacturers for software applications built specifically for doctors and lawyers to help them fight the fields of documents they continually have to handle. The software products included in this roundup are designed to keep, create or manage digital documents and preserve them from being lost, destroyed in a disaster or compromised in terms of privacy.
- e-MDs Solution Series: Texas-based e-MDs provides electronic health record and practice management software. e-MDs Solution offers medical field workers an integrated solution that includes e-prescribing, a patient portal PHR, tools for quality compliance, enterprise faxing and automation of office workflow and tasking. e-MDs enables medical practitioners to visit, code and bill with a single application.
e-Prescribing provides secure, fast and direct submission of new prescriptions and the ability to receiverefill requests from pharmacies electronically. Patient Portal facilitates secure and timely communicationbetween practices and their patients. Easier Multi-Party Faxing is provided through a sophisticated faxserver featuring a faxing interface that eases faxing to multiple parties. Enhanced Workflow Automationgenerates health summary, templating, case management, automated tasking and a variety of reportingoptions.
- SRS Chart Manager: New Jersey-based SRS Software‘s SRS Chart Manager is a clinical document management solution that delivers a paperless, efficient medical practice. SRS provides a suite of features compatible with software already deployed in the medical office. It integrates closely with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word for business letters, forms and templates.
All versions of Microsoft Office from Office 2000 onward are supported. It operates on the MicrosoftWindows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Windows 2003 Server platforms.
SRS interfaces seamlessly with all major practice management software systems, including Allscripts,Athena, Cerner, GE Centricity, Greenway, IDX, Misys, NextGen and Sage.
- Cataphora: California-based Cataphora offers a comprehensive electronic evidence management and analysis platform. The C-Analytics product provides attorneys and investigators with insight into electronic data, revealing fact and behavior patterns and providing answers to critical questions that were previously unanswerable.
The C-Evidence product is an electronic evidence review system that identifies and prioritizes clientsbased on the most important evidentiary data and filters out junk and the other non-responsive data. This software automatically finds the relationships among all the documents and all the people who created, received or interacted with them.
- Workshare Pro: California-based information security company Workshare released in June its Version 5.0 of Workshare Pro. This software works inline with Microsoft Word to compare documents, reduce document corruption, eliminate foreign formatting styles and remove all metadata from their documents. This product provides information compliance and includes flexible publishing and complete Portable Document Format (PDF) security options.
The new product provides users with multi-party document review, elimination of version/masterproliferation and confusion, extended and secured document control over e-mail and portals, PDF conversion anywhere and on e-mail send, discovery and removal of hidden data and visible content leaks.
It also creates PDFs of any Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint file. A “Convert to PDF” button in Microsoft Office automatically converts to PDF on demand or on outgoing e-mail attachments.
- AbsoluteProof Desktop: Herndon, VA-based IT security software company Surety operates a timestamping service (often termed a “digital notary”) called AbsoluteProof. The service enables users to legally defend the authenticity of their electronic records. AbsoluteProof is integrated into several document and record management systems.
The company released in mid-July a standalone version called AbsoluteProof Desktop. Once data is sealed with AbsoluteProof and Absoluteproof Desktop, doctors and lawyers can irrefutably prove that theelectronic record existed at a specific point in time and has not been subjected to forgery, alteration orcompromise, for however long that document must be retained and wherever it may be transported. Theproduct verifies the integrity of digital records, regardless of the content’s format, without integration.
- eCopy Desktop: eCopy Desktop lets users manage, modify and share Adobe PDF documents the same way they handle paper-based information at their desktops. It gives office workers tools to create, annotate and distribute PDF files without the requirements of other software applications.
The product supports PDF permissions and document encryption, which allows users to set and applypolicies to electronic documents to maintain confidentiality, privacy and accountability. eCopy Desktopenables users to manage, modify and share documents both inside and outside the firewall.