GE launches ECG product to improve workflow, others for smaller hospitals

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NEW ORLEANS—EMR Gateway from GE Healthcare enables resting ECGs to be transmitted directly to a patient's electronic medical record. The software can be set up on any PC and is compatible with most EMR systems. The company launched the new product at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions this week.

“It’s been challenging for us to get our resting ECGs into EMRs up to this point, unless we configured specific EMRs with our equipment,” said Melanie Varin, general manager of marketing for diagnostic cardiology for GE. “By putting the Gateway in the middle of the process, it streamlines our ability to work with more EMRs and enables an efficient, hands-off method to make it happen.”

More and more practices are adopting EMRs as a way to streamline workflow and become more efficient. The EMR essentially becomes the portal to mange patient care. The EMR Gateway ensures the ECG is in that portal, so clinicians do not have to view two different screens while evaluating a patient, Varin said.

The ECG is sent to the EMR as a PDF or XML file. In addition to the EMR Gateway’s compatibility with GE’s Centricity EMR Solution, the company has validated compatibility with its first set of development partners: e-MDs, eClinicalWorks, GEMMS, McKesson Practice Partner, MediNotes and Medtuity.

GE also launched at the meeting the MAC 1600 ECG cart, a less expensive version of the company’s high-end flagship MAC 5500.

“We recognize that not all hospitals will need the features of the MAC 5500. This product is for them,” Varin said.

The 1600 uses a similar keyboard as the 5500 and offers Hookup Advisor, which signals with a red, yellow or green light whether the leads are properly placed. The MAC 1600 also is equipped with the 12SL ECG analysis algorithms, which have been developed over decades.

The 12SL algorithms essentially comprise a knowledge base that enables the software to suggest potential interpretations for ECGs. Varin recounted the experience of a customer using a competitor’s cart who was uncertain about the interpretive algorithms from that cart and clocked a 65 percent confidence level. The customer checked the system with a GE cart and attained a 90-plus confidence level that the “interpretation statements we were providing were correct,” Varin said.

The portable MAC 1600 comes with three connectivity options: modem, LAN and direct serial line. The 1600 is between $3,000 and $4,000 less expensive than the 5500, depending on the configuration. The system is ideal for remote clinics that want to use the same ECG analysis algorithms as the MAC 5500 in the main facility and for physicians affiliated with hospitals, Varin said.

A third product launch for GE is the MUSE EHX, a pared-down cardiology information system. The MUSE EHX is built for flexibility and designed to meet the needs for storing, editing and managing 12-lead resting, stress and ambulatory ECG data for single-facility hospitals with limited financial resources or a limited ability to implement a large-scale cardiology information system.

MUSE EHX can enhance administrative oversight and departmental efficiency with built-in database search and management report capabilities, according to Varin. Workflow and system status dashboards provide the administrator with immediate access to critical system information.