GE's Centricity Cardiology delivers "digital cockpit" for electronic cardiovascular data retrieval

Atlanta 18 March 2002Cardiologists will soon be able to instantly access patients' complete cardiovascular information through a single user interface with a single login. GE Medical Systems Information Technologies is about to introduce Centricity Cardiology, a fully integrated cardiac care clinical information system which will pull together disparate pieces of patient data previously accessible only through separate workstations, databases or paper charts within the hospital. Centricity Cardiology software is designed to provide clinicians with increased cardiac patient information at one workstation allowing them to make faster and better-informed care decisions. The Centricity system delivers a seamless, paperless flow of patient cardiovascular data.

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Now, records that once could take hours to assemble will be retrievable in a few keystrokes. Through a single "digital cockpit", clinicians will be able to retrieve all patient cardiovascular data, including EKG waveforms, echo and cath images, and other cardiovascular procedures. Also available at physicians' fingertips will be patients' prior reports, related exams, demographics, technologists' notes, hospital administrative records, and the patient's cardiovascular electronic medical record.

This will allow clinicians to immediately review and analyse information, make a diagnosis, and generate reports, all at a single point. Further, the system will store all waveforms, images and data in a central archive server for access anytime, from anywhere. The results will be increased efficiency and productivity. GE's Centricity Cardiology, which was announced at the American College of Cardiology Conference, March 17-20, 2002 in Atlanta, is part of the Centricity Enterprise clinical information system, GE's solution to improving clinical work flow throughout a health care facility by integrating patient information at every step of the hospital visit into a single electronic medical record.

"The announcement of this advanced cardiology information system is designed to meet the growing needs for cardiac care in the United States and around the world", stated Greg Lucier, president and CEO of GE Medical Systems Information Technologies. "This is especially important as facilities move toward specialised medicine and the development of speciality care facilities. It is also reflective of the significant impact heart disease has on the population today, as it tops the nation's leading cause of death."

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease affects more than 61 million Americans every year. As the disease continues to pose a serious health threat, and as more patients enter hospitals and speciality facilities, cardiac clinicians will be challenged to provide the best care possible even as their caseload increases.

"Cardiologists, like so many of today's health care providers, must make tough decisions under extreme time constraints and cost pressures, amid worsening staff shortages", stated Mike Genau, vice president of cardiology systems at GE Medical Systems Information Technologies. "By making complete patient information available immediately, GE Centricity Cardiology will enable clinicians to make more immediate and confident decisions. Clinicians will be able to focus on delivering care, not gathering and managing data."

The benefits of GE's Centricity Cardiology have been demonstrated by health care providers who already have implemented components of the system. For example, the Staten Island University Hospital has experienced improved work flow and efficiency since installing a prior release of GE's cardiovascular information system. "Since implementation of the earlier technology in 2000, cardiologists have seen a dramatic reduction in reporting time", stated James V. Malpeso, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, medical director of cardiac catheterisation and intervention at Staten Island University Hospital. "Reports that once took days to generate now can be ready in minutes."

"This gives us more time for patient care. And, the speed at which we can now access and report data has resulted in a boost in productivity and cost-savings. Additionally, we believe patients have greater confidence in clinicians when they know their treatment decisions are based on the most comprehensive data available." According to Mr. Genau, Centricity will be a major component in the development of the nation's first all-digital heart hospital, the Indiana Heart Hospital. On January 24, 2002, GE announced its partnership with the "hospital of the future" to create a paperless, filmless, and wireless environment.

"When we were looking for a partner, we turned to GE, in large part, because of the Centricity Cardiology system", stated Michael C. Venturini, M.D., cardiologist and chief medical officer of the Indiana Heart Hospital. "It will allow us to review reports and actual images of echocardiograms, EKGs, and cardiac catheterisation films. It will help make all of the hospital's cardiologists better physicians."

"We were also attracted", added Dr. Venturini, "by the system's ability to access GE Innova 2000 images, considered the industry gold standard, through Centricity Cardiology Image Management. Looking to the future, the Centricity system will be fully scalable which will accommodate our needs as we grow and allow us to network and manage up to thousands of patients." More news on GE Medical Systems Information Technologies is available in the following VMW articles:


Leslie Versweyveld

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