GE's Digital IT Initiatives Launch New Age in Patient Care

Yesterday GE Healthcare announced three IT initiatives that it is confident will improve patient care while driving down costs. At a media event in New York City, GE's top healthcare officers, along with industry leaders, provided the framework for its plans, as well as some insight on where and how they fit into the global market.GE's IT Initiatives1. Digital from Day One. The initiative provides the tools for a completely digital operation, from patient check in to electronic medical records.

November 20, 2008

2 Min Read
GE's Digital IT Initiatives Launch New Age in Patient Care

It will also be present at developing hospitals in emerging countries. For example, Aspetar Hospital in Qatar is one of the first sites partnering with GE on the solution. The company's goal is to implement the program into more than 3000 doctor offices and new hospitals through 2012, giving access to a global network of healthcare groups. According to the president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT, Vishal Wanchoo, the initiative enables institutions, hospitals, and doctors to provide a model of best practice.2. Collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare and Mayo Clinic Rochester. The goal here is to bring breakthrough medical research (that has been published) to patients sooner. Clinicians will have the most current information to help them in decision making. Based in Utah, Intermountain Healthcare is a network of 21 hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare sites.3. IT Collaboration between GE Healthcare and its partners--Intermountain Healthcare, Montefiore Medical Center (New York), Mayo Clinic Rochester, and the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF). These groups are collaborating to develop an open architecture healthcare IT system that will enable patients to be more active in their healthcare and seamlessly share data with clinicians. It will also help doctors share best practices. "Public expectations related to healthcare have radically changed in the last 10 years," said Michael Blum, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer at UCSF. He added that healthcare IT is at the cornerstone of meeting this expectation. Now the issue to tackle is, if the use of certain healthcare IT systems is doable, why aren't they being implemented?Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE, addressed where the company stands in these tough economic times (good--2008 could be one of GE's highest earnings year in its history) and the future of healthcare (again, improving quality at a lower cost). He named four important issues at the forefront of healthcare:- Improving access and the quality of healthcare for the uninsured- Transparency and choice--more will be known about the quality of healthcare, and early detection, along with the spread of information will be critical- Innovation--it's a growing part of gross domestic products (income) around the world, and strong pipelines are crucial to the future of healthcare- Systems efficiency and IT--it's not a technological challenge, but rather a workflow challenge.So, when considering the above factors and current economic conditions, how can a company play a strong role in the industry's future? Immelt named the ability to have staying power, a dedication to vision, good leaders within the company, instituting a marriage of good process capability with software, and collaborating with industry.

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