GE Healthcare To Investigate Efficacy Of Actionable Health Alerts

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imageGE Healthcare earlier this week announced that it is collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explore the efficacy of actionable health alerts delivered instantly to physicians’ EMRs.

Physicians utilizing actionable health alerts enter data as they see each patient. Data are then de-identified, transmitted to an archive, and measured against a disease profile. A relevant alert, which appears on the given doctor’s EMR display, is immediately issued if a suitable match is found. According to the vendor, the project will begin with a six-month prospective study to determine whether alerts are triggered often enough or too often, as well as if doctors follow the advice displayed within the alerts. The study will leverage GE's Medical Quality Improvement Consortium (MQIC) database, which holds more than 17 million de-identified patient records. An initiative to develop and implement a use case for this pilot program, undertaken by the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services with participation from the Chicago Department of Public Health, was launched in 2009.

In a separate announcement, GE Healthcare also revealed that its new Centricity ® Practice Solution 10 and Centricity Patient Online 12 electronic medical record (EMR) solutions have been certified for Meaningful Use under the U.S. government’s IT stimulus program. Centricity Practice Solution 10 is the evolution of the vendor’s fully integrated EMR and practice management system for physician practices. It now features embedded reports that providers can use to track their progress toward becoming “Meaningful Users”, as well as benchmark PQRI, NCQA, and other incentive-driven reporting initiatives. The solution is currently being implemented by several early-adopter providers; the company expects it to be generally-available in the second calendar quarter of 2011.

Centricity Patient Online 12, a new release of GE Healthcare’s established Patient Portal technology, creates a single channel of communications that extends the provider workflow to the patient’s home to help reduce costs, enhance quality, and increase access to care. It is also purported to help providers meet Meaningful Use Stage 1 required and menu-pick rulings via several capabilities, including the ability to give patients an electronic copy of their health information upon request, provide timely electronic access to patients’ health information within four business days of that information being made available to the provider, offer clinical summaries for patients for each office visit, and distribute patient-specific educational resources. Centricity Patient Online 12 is generally available today.

Two existing GE Healthcare solutions have also recently achieved Meaningful Use certification. They are Centricity Enterprise 6.9, which was deemed 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a complete EHR (electronic health record) on February 17, and Centricity Enterprise 6.6.3.2, which had previously been certified as a Complete Eligible Hospital EHR.

“2011 will be a critical year for adopting Meaningful Use,” says Jim Corrigan, vice president and general manager, GE Healthcare IT. He notes that currently-available versions of the company’s specialty solutions, Centricity Perinatal 6.9 and Centricity Perioperative Anesthesia 7.6, have also been submitted to certifying bodies and are expected to achieve modular certification in the first half of this year.