GE Health Care is rolling out a new, cloud-based platform that makes it easier for physicians with small practices to maintain and keep track of the electronic medical records of their patients. The new SAAS offering is part of GE's Centricity offering.
On June 15, GE Health Care
rolled out a software-as-a-service addition to its Centricity enterprise
medical-industry platform that offers automated Web-based "plug and play"
for physicians to maintain electronic medical records and manage their practice
GE planned to demonstrate the service at a roundtable event
at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., coinciding with National Health IT
week. GE is a sponsor
of the week's activities. The event includes a number of speakers, including
former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
With Centricity Advance, GE allows doctors' offices to
access electronic information faster and complete training within four weeks.
It also requires little maintenance and follows the standard protocols for connecting
with outside networks.
GE's SAAS offering comes at a time when small physician
practices seek faster and more affordable ways to handle medical information
digitally, according to the company.
practices are looking for an affordable solution to help them go digital
quickly, minimizing or eliminating the disruptions of lengthy implementation
and training times," Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare's
information technology business, wrote in a statement.
The quick tutorials and simple functionality of Centricity
Advance allows physicians to spend more time with patients and maintain quality
control, wrote Wanchoo.
is a software platform that allows enterprises to manage patient
flow and the practice's revenue cycle. It also provides tools for subscriptions
and orders, decision support, quality-of-care reports and compliance with
health-care data standards.
By entering a secure password from anywhere, the service
allows patients to schedule appointments,
access billing statements and private messages and request prescription refills
and lab results.
Subscription fees will range from $300 to $800 per
month and the upfront fee will cost between $4,000 and $9,000,
according to GE.
GE says Centricity Advance is more flexible than other EMR offerings
because it's designed from the ground up. The new service adds a plug-and-play
option to GE's Centricity product line.
"Essentially the customer signs up with GE and can be
up and running almost immediately," Corey Miller, a GE spokesman, told
eWEEK. "They may choose to go slower [to take advantage of training,
etc.], but the product allows customer setup to be done very, very
GE also plans to add e-commerce capabilities that will allow
medical practices to process payments and other features remotely, said Miller.
Previously, doctor's offices had been resistant to
implementing automated health care offerings due to the complexity and cost. Miller
says the quick and easy SAAS service targets medical practices that have a
small IT staff or those that lack one altogether.
The market for electronic medical records -- and health
-- is expected to grow as health care companies hope to take
advantage of health care reform and government financial subsidies.
and other service vendors have been actively developing electronic medical
record services that are simple and cost-effective.
they need to adopt an EMR in the near-term in order to maximize their potential
for stimulus reimbursements that start in 2011," wrote Jim Corrigan, vice
president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT's ambulatory care business,
in a statement.
In April 2009, GE announced that it would invest $250
million with Intel
to develop health care IT technologies such as