Just as Google has become a common and well-known verb as well as a noun in Internet search, Merge Healthcare hopes its new platform will become a similar phrase in electronic records, as in "Merge your records."

The Chicago-based vendor of platforms for image-intensive specialties is going to be demonstrating merge.com, the platform it hopes will lead the way toward achieving that, at the annual RSNA meeting Nov. 25-30. Merge.com is intended to close the loop between referring physicians, radiology centers and specialists ― and consumers ― allowing them access to the pertinent images and records any time, from any device. The platform will feature a mobile application for referring physicians to send patients to recommended imaging centers; a website for consumers to complete pre-work and schedule appointments; a cloud-based portal for imaging centers to share results with referring physicians and patients; and analytics for practices to maximize throughput.

As the mandates of Meaningful Use Stage 2 collide with the era of higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for consumers, giving potential customers a convenient way to discover the services an imaging center provides, as well as a way to take the paper out of the paperwork, will be a key player in achieving customer satisfaction, says Steven Tolle, senior vice president of solutions management at Merge.

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