Combobulator

Combobulator is a gateway that converts DICOM measurements and data into perfectly formatted HL7 reports.

EMR, now what?

EMR and dictation platforms are a great place to build reports. However, using them for this purpose creates some challenges:

  • Measurements, which used to go to PACS, now need to arrive at the EMR or Dictation via HL7.
  • Many instruments don’t do HL7 very well, and manual data entry by technologists is incredibly time-consuming and error prone.
  • EMR vendors’ time is better spent improving their product, not helping you.
  • Trying to adapt your EMR to your modalities is expensive.
    Creating vendor specific interfaces severely limits your future purchase options.

These are a set of realities faced by a significant number of clinicians and managers; Driving many to mistakenly “bite the bullet” and ask their EMR vendor to engage in costly one-off projects, thereby creating a long-term support challenge.

We can help

(Way) back in 2011 we were approached by a number of instrument vendors to help solve exactly this challenge for their clients. The happy fruit of this joint effort are a number of products, one of which is the Combobulator.

This marvel of efficient design is able to:

  • Retrieve both standard and non-standard measurements from DICOM SR output.
  • Format these measurements into clinically appropriate tables.
  • Export these tables as pre-formatted HL7 directly into EMR and RIS.

The Combobulator can do this for many brands of instruments. It’s both our specialty and our pleasure to ensure yours is on the list.

How does it work?

Combobulator sits between your device and the EMR:

  • Your instrument is configured to point to the Combobulator instead of, or in addition to, the PACS
  • Combobulator receives and parses measurements from the DICOM SR payload
  • Combobulator then creates an HL7 message and transmits it along to the EMR

What is the impact on the technologist?

There are many ways that technologists can be positively impacted, some of them include:

  • Not having to spend time with data entry, technologists can focus on patients and, often, reduce the number of trips to and from the examination room.
  • Depending on your particular workflow, technologists may not require continuous access to either the PACS or EMR. Optional visual confirmation can still be performed, but is not required for proper storage.
  • Reduced time spent with each study means that the pace of hiring is reduced as your clinic expands.
  • It’s no secret that manually inputting long series of numbers is frustrating – the gateway can help improve morale.

Basic Specifications

  • Windows executable, runs as a system service
  • Receives instances as a Store SCP
  • Generates HL7 reports using a JavaScript-like language
  • Transmits to EMR via a compatible interface

Supported Modalities

  • Any modality that outputs DICOM Structured Report data

Supported EMR Systems

  • Any EMR capable of receiving HL7 ORU messages comprised of OBX segments

Network Services

  • US, CT, DR, MR, SC, RAW Storage SCU/SCP
  • SR Storage SCU/SCP
  • Verification SCU/SCP
  • HL7 Client Mode

System Requirements

  • x86 or x 64 CPU at 2 GHz minumum
  • 2 GB memory for 32-bit and 4 GB for 64-bit operation
  • Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 2003 Server, or 2008 Server
  • 200 MB of storage, for binary and first three years of logs files
  • TCP access to both modality and destination EMR systems

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