New GE Centricity Health Care Application Bolsters Clinical Research

GE says its latest health care application, Centricity Research, will make clinical research more efficient and improve research billing compliance.

GE Healthcare has introduced an application called Centricity Research to enhance the efficiency of clinical studies, improve research billing compliance, and enable better management of treatment plans and procedures.

Centricity is GE's software platform that reaches all areas of health care IT, including EHRs (electronic health records) as well as pharmaceutical, financial and administrative tools.

Centricity Research is the "first enterprise-class CRMS [clinical research management solution]," GE reports.

"GE Healthcare is the first company to introduce a CRMS that will tightly integrate with the core scheduling and financial systems of a health care organization to simplify patient activities and drive compliance," Michael Nolte, GE Healthcare's vice president and general manager for hospital and large practice, wrote in an email to eWEEK.

CRMS apps are often used in just one area of an academic medical center, like a cancer center, and not extended to other areas, according to Nolte.

"Because of a lack of functionality needed to satisfy the diverse needs of investigators involved in the different kind of clinical research (e.g., drug, device, observational, retrospective, case report, behavior modification, etc.), the cancer center systems are never deployed across the entire enterprise," he said.

Adding Centricity Research to the portfolio will help medical institutions performing clinical or translational research handle research processes and compliance requirements that are growing more complex, GE reports.

"We're introducing a system that not only connects to our other Centricity offerings but is pliable enough for today's market by easily integrating with the variety of other systems that institutions have in place," Jim Corrigan, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT, said in a statement.

The Centricity Patient Protocol Management platform forms the foundation of Centricity Research and enables researchers to achieve compliance and manage audits by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the Office of Inspector General and the Justice Department, Nolte said.

Launched on March 28, the platform can integrate with various systems, including databases for IRBs (Institutional Review Boards), which are committees that review research ethics.

"Instead of being forced to enter in all the basic information about a new clinical research study (e.g., title, description, study team members, consent form, eligibility criteria, etc.), all of that information is pulled into [Centricity Research] as soon as the IRB has determined that the study has met all of the necessary institutional, state and federal regulatory requirements and can begin enrolling patients," Nolte said.

Centricity Research is also compatible with EHR (electronic health record) and EMR (electronic medical record) platforms, as well as RCM (revenue cycle management) systems and clinical scheduling.

"When screening a new patient for a clinical research study, the patient can be identified in the institution's EMR, and all relevant patient information can be pulled into CR," Nolte said.

Centricity Research then pushes the data to emergency rooms and intensive care departments so that physicians are aware of when patients experience a problem with a drug or medical device.

Along with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and other institutions, Mdlogix, a provider of clinical research management software, helped GE develop Centricity Research.

With its support for clinical research compliance and its potential ability to maximize the efficiency of clinical data research, Centricity Research can aid researchers, clinicians, and billing staff and research administrators, Aaditya Goswami, CEO of Mdlogix, said in a statement.

"The enterprise deployment of CRMS at Johns Hopkins includes all departments in the School of Medicine," Dr. Dan Ford, vice dean of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said in a statement. "CRMS has helped us more efficiently manage the 30 percent increase we have achieved in the number of research studies conducted at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine since 2007."