SpectraMedi rides the medical-transcription
Adam Rombel Journal Staff
SYRACUSE — The days when doctors
and other medical professionals would use hand-written
notes to record and convey information about patients’ health
are rapidly fading away. Spectrum Software Solutions, Inc.,
through its SpectraMedi unit, is a fast-growing Syracuse
based company that’s taking advantage of the trend
toward utilizing hightech, medical-transcription services.
Medical transcription involves
converting medical records dictated by doctors and others into
data that can be sent to a transcriber anywhere in the world, who
then types it up. The material transcribed includes patient history
and physical reports, clinic and office notes, operative reports,
discharge summaries, letters, psychiatric evaluations, laboratory
reports, X-ray results, pathology reports, and other medical records.
These transcribed records are used for archives, reference, or
for legal proof of medical advice.
Medical transcription has become
more sophisticated over the years, graduating from the use of simple
tape-recorders to various hand-held recorders such as the Pocket
PC and the Olympus digital recorder, as well as advanced phone-in
Frank and Ancy Kunnumpurath, natives
of India, founded Spectrum Software Solutions in 1997 and the SpectraMedi
divisionin 1999. By the end of its first year, SpectraMedi generated
about $100,000 in sales. This year, SpectraMedi expects to reach
$3 million in revenue and more than $100,000 in profit, which was
last year’s total.
“We’ve seen tremendous,
exponential growth,” says, Frank Kunnumpurath, co-owner of
the company, along with his wife.
SpectraMedi’s customers include
specialty medical practices, family doctors, and hospital departments.
Central New York clients include: Internist Associates of CNY,
CNY Family Care, Colon Rectal Associates of CNY, Family Medicine
Services Group, Loretto Health & Rehabilitation CTR, Orthopedic
Medical Service Group, the Onondaga County Health Department’s
Bureau of Disease Control, Oswego County Opportunities, and Vivian
Teal Howard Health Center. But 95 percent of its customers are
outside the Syracuse area, Kunnumpurath says.
SpectraMedi has three offices:
one at 6562 Ridings Road in the Town of Salina and wo in Kerala,
India. The company employs more than 300 people, with most of those
in India, says Thomas E. Flynn, a vice president with SpectraMedi’s
parent company. SpectraMedi has 30 full-time employees in the U.S.,
seven of whom are in Central New York, he adds. The rest are spread
across the U.S. and Canada, working from their homes.
They’ve been busy. In the
first six months of this year, SpectraMedi’s workers transcribed
about 15-million lines of medical dictation.
About 90 percent of SpectraMedi’s
revenue comes from transcription services while 10 percent results
from selling software and technology services. The new flagship
software product for the latter is Speech2Print, a dictation and
transcription- management solution, which came to market last January.
SpectraMedi recently installed
the Speech2Print system at a radiology practice in NewHampshire. “The
system allows the radiologists to review the typed-up transcriptions,
electronically sign them, and print them from anywhere,” explains
Kunnumpurath. “The report can then be faxed to the referring
doctor’s office without any manual intervention.”
SpectraMedi plans on creating a
new division for the Speech2Print business and on hiring more technical-support
and sales staff to boost sales, Kunnumpurath, says, without providing
a target or goal. The company will also seek outside investors
to help financethis division, he says.
The company will also continue
to hire more transcribers. SpectraMedi may also begin offering
franchises to owners of small medical-transcription companies,
Kunnumpurath says. The selling point would be that SpectraMedi
can offer these owners medical benefits, vacation time, and its
technical and staff resources, he says. SpectraMedi, in turn, would
obtain experienced, quality transcription staffers, who are exceedingly
difficult to find, he explains.