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Amcom Software: Managing healthcare's mission-critical communications

July 24, 2008
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Keeping healthcare's communications streamlined is the focus of Amcom Software, Minneapolis. The company, founded in 1984, provides software for call centers and emergency management.

“The healthcare industry understands that communications is really the backbone,” says CEO Chris Heim. “Seconds count, and optimizing communications for reliability and efficiency can have a life-saving impact.”

Amcom's product line helps hospitals automate, centralize and standardize mission-critical communications. The solutions support both day-to-day business operations (directory lookups, paging, on-call scheduling) and event-driven communications (codes, 911 calls and other emergencies) with speed, accuracy and productivity.

Although healthcare has made great strides in shifting from siloed to converged communications, Heim says there's more progress to be made. “We think we can extend that communications backbone even further into the realm of machine-to-human interaction,” he says. “For example, we envision a situation where a patient's heart monitor alerts the Amcom system of an erratic heartbeat. The system in turn determines where and how to notify the patient's cardiologist, according to their preferences. Pager? BlackBerry? E-mail? The physician receives the alert quickly and the patient is treated efficiently and effectively.”

Amcom's products are Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) certified, a stringent security and interoperability requirement for government and military operations. “Meeting the tough standards of JITC gives us a great advantage,” Heim says. “It means all our customers can rely on us for their most sensitive, complex communications work.”

The company, listed at #80 in this year's Healthcare Informatics Top 100, has experienced $20 million in growth in just the past year, via a strong organic foundation and several key acquisitions, Heim notes.

After being acquired by 2ndWave Software in 2007, Amcom did some buying of its own: It acquired XTEND Communications in November 2007, and Teltronics' Telident E911 Solutions in January 2008.

The acquisitions brought in many new healthcare clients: Amcom's client base now includes 850 hospitals, including 14 of the top 18 hospitals as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, Heim says. Two-thirds of its 2007 revenue was healthcare-based, and Heim says he expects Amcom's healthcare business to surge in 2008 as more organizations work to improve their communications and develop better ways to handle critical tasks.

Healthcare Informatics 2008 August;25(8):45

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