GE Healthcare Taps SAS For Patient Safety Analytics - InformationWeek

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2/15/2011
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GE Healthcare Taps SAS For Patient Safety Analytics

Business intelligence software will analyze healthcare datasets, looking for patterns and trends that can help hospitals prevent adverse medical events.

Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
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Slideshow: Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety

SAS, a provider of business analytics software and services, has entered into an agreement with GE Healthcare which will allow GE to leverage SAS technology to analyze patient health datasets and look for specific patterns and trends that can help hospitals prevent adverse medical events.

Both companies announced Monday that they have entered into a joint development and marketing agreement that will apply SAS Analytics to GE's Patient Safety Organization (PSO), part of GE Healthcare Performance Solutions. The SAS software will mine patient-related data and provide critical insights, best practices, and benchmarking to enable clinicians to make informed decisions aimed at reducing medical errors and improving the quality of care.

Jeff Terry, managing principal of clinical operations at GE Healthcare Performance Solutions, told InformationWeek that there are many types of adverse events that analytics tools can help to prevent, such as wrong-site surgery, post-surgical infections, pressure ulcers, hospital-acquired infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

"The risks that contribute to error include poor hand hygiene, unclear marking of the surgical site, patients not being turned as they should, mislabeling of specimens, and many more. Only by creating and sharing new knowledge can we deliver the cultural and process change necessary to reduce error," Terry explained.

To mitigate these risks and generate analytical data that can improve healthcare practices and procedures, Terry asserted that the addition of SAS Analytics to GE's PSO will help to do two important things: "First, we'll uncover the insights that help providers anticipate high-risk situations. Second, we'll create a community of members within the PSO who exchange stories about what worked, and what didn't, to improve safety," Terry said.

GE's PSO provides its members a single common medical event-reporting platform, with comprehensive data analytics and advisory support to identify the root causes of risk, and help hospitals make lasting safety improvements. With 16 founding members, the GE PSO is one of the largest national PSOs, and also has plans to expand and include additional hospitals across the U.S.

By applying data warehousing and business intelligence software from SAS, PSO member hospitals will receive information about their data to help identify the root causes of risk. When adverse-event data is de-identified, the GE PSO can share critical information, such as trends or risk areas, without compromising privacy standards.

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