GE Software Helps Docs Prepare For Meaningful Use - InformationWeek

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7/14/2011
02:42 PM
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GE Software Helps Docs Prepare For Meaningful Use

GE Healthcare upgrades Centricity electronic medical record and practice management system to help physicians prepare for Meaningful Use and the changeover to ICD-10 codes.

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GE Healthcare has launched Centricity Practice Solution (CPS) 10, the latest version of its electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) system. Among the upgrades, GE has added several new features designed to help physicians prepare for Meaningful Use (MU), and the changeover to ICD-10 codes.

CPS 10 also supports the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI's) HIPPA 5010 guidelines so claims can be submitted after the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline.

Announced Tuesday, officials said the latest version also includes a redesigned user interface based on physician feedback. In particular, the new version reduces the number of clicks from registration to clinical evaluation. A new financial performance dashboard allows practices to continuously monitor all aspects of the revenue cycle--from accounts receivable to insurance claims and billing--using live data and customizable layouts.

Additionally, a MU package with a patient portal, secure clinical messaging, and e-prescribing also are included in CPS 10, which also comes with quality reports embedded directly into the EMR.

"It is the only EMR/PM solution backed by integrated quality reporting metrics and a database of more than 20 million patient records," Michael Friguletto, vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare IT, told InformationWeek Healthcare.

The database Friguletto is referring to is GE's Medical Quality Improvement Consortium (MQIC)--a rapidly growing quality reporting and research database with de-identified clinical data. According to Friguletto, the database allows a practice to benchmark their data nationally against other practices of similar size and complexity.

"Though some vendors offer benchmarking solutions based on coding data, nobody in the industry but GE is providing an avenue for benchmarking their work with pure clinical information," Friguletto said.

Kathy Barrows, clinic administrator at Internal Medicine Associates, based in Fargo, N.D., said in a statement that after her practice upgrade to the beta version of Centricity Practice Solution 10, there was a significant improvement in her medical practice's workflow.

"It's changing the game here. Centricity Practice Solution 10 has clearly been built to optimize cost efficiency and deployment of a hybrid system and has intuitively matched our workflow to minimize our training costs. We couldn't be happier with our transition," Barrows said.

Judy Hanover, research director at IDC Health Insights told InformationWeek Healthcare that through its CPS 10 solution, GE is looking beyond the requirements of Stage 1 Meaningful Use, and said the software has features that align with the requirements and objectives of accountable delivery networks.

"CPS 10 really adds some nice revenue cycle management, billing, and reporting functionality. It seems like a strong release that is forward looking as practices prepare for Meaningful Use Stages 2 and 3 and provides features that support integrated practice management," Hanover said. "This is clearly an incremental step forward for GE as they look to improve upon their functionality, and enhance their integration capabilities. This release appears to add significantly to the reporting capabilities and also allows physician practices to quickly integrate data and benchmarking a little bit more into their decision-making process."

The need to develop a package that provide integration across clinical, financial, and other systems is a key factor that GE believes will help its CPS 10 offering to stay competitive in a crowded EMR market. GE said CPS 10 advances integration and helps ensure that one set of patient information flows throughout the practice, reducing medical errors and driving down operating costs.

Further, CPS 10 promises to integrate quality reports into patient records to help medical practices qualify for MU incentives and other value-based payment initiatives.

As EMR vendors continue to improve their technology, a recent KLAS study entitled: Clinical Market Share 2011: Is Stimulus Money Still Stimulating?, revealed how important integration is to the changing needs of hospitals with over 200 beds.

The study found that Epic was ranked first in new hospital contracts because it offers integrated clinical, patient financial, and ambulatory systems with above-average usability and an unmatched track record of successful implementation in hospitals with more than 200 beds. Even though they lag behind in technology and are more expensive than other EMRs, Epic's EMR solution has the ability to integrate systems and show strengths that cater perfectly to the current market trends, which helped the company lure many clients away from competitors last year, the report said.

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