Petra backs medical records manager

Superior Global Solutions Inc., a Plano, Texas-based company that transcribes voice medical records, last week raised $6 million from Petra Capital Partners.

The funding from the Nashville, Tenn.-based venture firm includes $4 million in debt and $2 million worth of preferred stock.

This is the fourth time this year that Petra has invested in the company and the sixth time overall, according to Superior Global, which declined to say how much total money it has raised in funding.

Some of the funds went to acquire “strategic technology,” and to support a buyout of a minority shareholder, according to Superior Global.

Superior Global allows medical practitioners to tape audio notes through a recording device or telephone. The company’s technology transforms the audio into text, and then it attaches the text into the client’s electronic medical record system.

In announcing the funding, the company also said Petra Capital’s Mike Blackburn, managing partner, and David Fitzgerald, a venture partner of the firm, will join the company’s board.

Petra’s investment in Superior Global reflects a rising trend in VCs searching for applications that can effectively upgrade the health care industry. Much of the incentive comes from the recent involvement by the U.S. government to improve the country’s health care system.

In February, the U.S. Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allocated $19 billion in efforts to digitalize medical files. The program has led to a surge in interest in electronic medical record apps.

Health care investment dollars increased to 19% of total VC investments to date in 2009 from 16% in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week). —Martha Sanchez-Avila