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GE healthcare's information technologies enabling digital revolution

AZDEL : 15 March, 2006  (Company News)
GE Healthcare announced today that it recently signed contracts with two new customers in the United States to build all-digital community hospitals over the next two to three years. These new customers represent GE's leadership in creating focused solutions to digitize general care community hospitals.
'GE is offering focused solutions to this vastly underserved mainstream market,' said Dow Wilson, president and CEO of Information Technologies, part of GE Healthcare. 'These community hospitals will significantly automate care documentation around the patient's bedside which, ultimately, improves patient safety, enhances productivity and has a positive effect on both patient and clinician satisfaction.'

Once the process is completed, the 133-bed Skaggs Community Health Center in Branson, Missouri, and another 450+ bed health system, will chart all patient information online.

These new customers will deploy all GE Centricity(R) modules to document nursing and physician care provided to the patient. Patient care records will flow from the emergency department, operating rooms, intensive care units, through discharge, and follow up in the physician office. The Centricity modules will create a filmless, wireless and predominantly paperless care environment for a faster, more comprehensive information flow.

In addition, the Community Hospitals Network, one of the major care delivery providers in the Indianapolis area, recently announced implementation plans to digitize its Anderson facility. This would make the five hospital IDN (integrated delivery network), a network of providers organized to provide comprehensive services to a community, an all-digital healthcare system by 2007.

GE: Enabling State-of-the-Art Digital Heart Hospitals

In addition to digitizing community hospitals, GE has helped establish two of the world's most advanced all-digital heart hospitals, the Indiana Heart Hospital in Indianapolis and, more recently, Saint Francis Heart Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A third, Pepin Heart Hospital and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, is currently planned to open in fall 2005.

'GE is leveraging its healthcare and information technologies expertise to usher in a new era of healthcare that is more accurate, efficient, cost effective and patient-focused,' said Wilson. 'The healthcare industry is under incredible pressure to enhance clinical accuracy and reduce costs. At the same time, hospitals want to create an environment that's more convenient and safer for the patient. GE is helping its partners marry both of these desires.'

Like the community hospitals, GE's all-digital heart hospitals feature cutting-edge modalities, patient monitoring systems, electronic medical record and imaging systems, thus providing physicians with quick and accurate diagnostic tools to treat heart disease, and to expeditiously track all facets of patient recovery. As a result, the hospitals have made specific, measurable improvements on both the treatment and administrative sides.

The Indiana Heart Hospital

The Indiana Heart Hospital, which opened in 2003, was a breakthrough in digital healthcare technology. As the prototype hospital of its kind in the United States, TIHH was built from the ground up to fuse technology together with quality patient care. Less than two years old, TIHH pioneered the paperless, wireless, filmless environment that has become the benchmark for other facilities.

At the center of the technology is GE Centricity Information System, which integrates waveforms, images, data, and text into a single electronic record. These types of information work together to create a comprehensive medical record from which doctors extract information for more informed treatment decisions. The impact of these technologies has resulted in significant changes in how care is delivered for both the medical professionals and patients. Physician satisfaction has increased 200 percent; account receivables can process billing information in less than 55 days; and physicians can complete patient charts in less than five minutes. Most significantly, the length of patient stays has been cut in half.

Saint Francis Heart Hospital

Opened earlier this year, Saint Francis Heart Hospita features GE's cutting-edge diagnostics, including a wide range of cardiovascular services, patient monitoring systems, and electronic medical record systems that enable physicians to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat heart disease, and to expediently track all aspects of patient recovery.

Already, SFHH physicians are spending up to 40 percent less time on their rounds; patients stay in one room for the entire duration of their visit, with treatment occurring at bedside; data collecting and lab result postings have been sped up, resulting in more time for physicians to spend with patients; and the hospital has a 97.5 percent patient satisfaction rate, well above the 90 percent satisfaction marks achieved by some top healthcare facilities.

Pepin Heart Hospital and Research Institute

The next generation all-digital, state-of-the-art facility developed around GE's information technologies, Pepin Heart Hospital and Research Institute is currently under construction and slated to open in fall 2005. This cardiovascular hospital will feature Innov, an all-digital cardiovascular imaging system, Centricity PACS (picture archiving and communications system), a digital imaging system, and Centricity CIS (clinical information system).

'With America's health records expected to be fully electronic by 2014, GE's information technologies are helping hospitals lower costs, prevent errors and ensure consistent, quality health care for every patient,' said Wilson.
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