GE debuts IT initiatives to enable hospitals, practices to boost quality, decrease cost
Jeffrey R. Immelt, GE's Chairman & CEO (left) and John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare (right), speak this morning at the “DigITal Delivered: The Future of High-Performance Healthcare” product launch this morning at the W Hotel in New York City.
NEW YORK CITY—Through collaborations with medical institutions, including Aspetar Hospital, Qatar Foundation, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Montefiore Medical Center and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF), GE Healthcare at an event in New York City today launched three new healthcare IT initiatives focused on “high performance healthcare.” They share the objective of making clinical data portable and available at the fingertips of clinicians, getting it out of information silos and providing actionable IT solutions.
GE today unveiled its “Digital Day One” initiative aimed to reduce healthcare’s digital divide in both emerging and mature markets. The initiative seeks to enhance performance from “day one” with IT starter kit offerings to ensure physicians’ offices and new hospitals perform at full potential.
Aspetar Hospital, an orthopedic and sports medicine hospital in Qatar, and the Qatar Foundation, are two of the first sites to partner with GE Healthcare on this healthcare IT solution.
GE said its goal is to roll out the “Digital Day One” IT starter kit into more than 3,000 physician offices and new hospitals through 2012, providing access to a global network of collaborative healthcare organizations.  
Part two focuses on bringing best practice IT tools to the bedside and sharing knowledge among caregivers and healthcare systems. To accomplish this, GE is partnering with Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, Utah, and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to enable the sharing of newly published medical breakthroughs and best practices with healthcare providers via relevant ongoing updates applicable to their specific areas of expertise.
“This allows the publishing of information into software systems,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “It allows the latest and greatest of clinical protocols to eliminate variation [in patient care.}”
“Once this solution is implemented, physicians will be continuously alerted to diagnostic research and treatment findings on a near real-time basis, a process that today takes almost 17 years,” noted Marc Probst, chief information officer of Intermountain Healthcare.
(Left to right) Marc Probst, chief information officer, Intermountain Healthcare; Eran Bellin, MD, chief medical informaticist, Montefiore Medical Center; Michael Blum, MD, chief medical information officer, UCSF Medical Center; David Mohr, MD, chief medical officer, Mayo Clinic Rochester; Simeon A. Schwartz, MD, president, Westchester Medical Group; Vishal Wanchoo, president & CEO, GE Healthcare IT; Brandon Savage, MD, chief medical officer, GE Healthcare IT.  
Part three lays out a plan for open IT architecture that enables more flexibility in creating new applications and thus easier ways of mining patient data. For this, GE, Intermountain, Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, Mayo and UCSF are collaborating on a  framework to develop and commercialize an open architecture that will connect disparate healthcare IT systems, allowing patients to share their data with their various medical professionals.
“Today’s three announcements are important milestones in GE Healthcare’s ongoing efforts to providing transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. The power of IT is only just beginning to revitalize healthcare. We are confident that the changes we see in our lives will be as amazing as they are important,” said John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare.