Q&A: GE's Wanchoo outlines integration with IDX

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Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare's Integrated IT Solutions business, sat down with Health Imaging & IT to discuss the recent acquisition of IDX and how the two companies are integrating personnel, visions, and products for the road ahead. He forecasts the combined entity will reach sales of $1.9 billion in 2006. In addition to addressing how these big changes are expected to benefit customers, Wanchoo also detailed some of the surprises they had in store for HIMSS 2006 attendees this week.

Can you detail GE's new product portfolio, and which crossover products between GE and IDX will remain?

All products will be under the Centricity umbrella, and we're bringing together complementary products from both companies. Our product line will be structured the following way:

GE Centricity Enterprise comprises the former IDX Carecast product and is a fully integrated clinical, financial and administrative system. It combines core clinical processes for orders, results, pharmacy and clinical documentation with administrative and financial processes for scheduling, registration, admitting, charging and billing.

The system automates workflow throughout the healthcare enterprise and enables rapid access to patient records across the care continuum, from admission to discharge, including inpatient and ambulatory care. The result is a comprehensive lifetime patient record that enhances the quality of care and promotes operational efficiencies.

GE Centricity also will enable clinicians to readily access images and information from our departmental systems from within each patient's electronic medical record.

We're announcing this week that Intermountain Healthcare is now a strategic development partner for Centricity Enterprise and will be bringing their expertise in clinical based protocols to help build state-of-the-art decision support functionality for the electronic medical record.

GE Centricity also will provide an electronic medical record/practice management option for independent physician practices of all sizes. We will offer the GE ambulatory electronic medical record in combination with practice management solutions for large, medium and small group practices. We’ll be offering the former IDX Flowcast and Groupcast offerings for large and medium practices, and the GE Practice Management solution for small practices.
We will also offer Centricity Patient Online (the former IDX Patient Online), a web-based patient portal, to both the group practice and inpatient electronic medical record market; as well as Referring Practice Online, a referring physician portal that will be used in inpatient and ambulatory settings.
GE will continue to market and sell our well-established suite of Centricity departmental systems, including Pharmacy, Lab, Perioperative and Perinatal. We'll also use the intellectual property from the GE Critical Care system to develop native critical care capabilities within GE Centricity.
GE Centricity Imaging is an integrated solution that enables clinicians to view all radiology and cardiology diagnostic images and reports, as well as access ECG waveforms. This solution brings together GE Centricity PACS with IDX's highly rated Radiology Information System.
We're still determining our approach for information system requirements for cardiology.

What will be the software platform going forward for Centricity/IDX products?

The GE platform strategy focuses on bringing together all the Centricity products within a unified architecture. In the short-term, our goal is to address some immediate priorities for interoperability between systems through a web-based user interface, which manages patient context across systems and supports single sign on. We'll also pursue opportunities for direct data exchange between systems, including ensuring that images are easily accessible from within our electronic medical records.

If Imagecast continues as a product, is the Stentor PACS still a component of that?

GE Healthcare will no longer sell the Stentor PACS solution (now owned by Philips) [that IDX sold]. Going forward we will only sell the GE Centricity PACS solution. However, we will continue to have a development relationship with Philips in order to properly support our existing customer base.

This means continuing to work with Philips product development to bring future releases to the IDX customer base currently using the Philips PACS solution. In the future, we intend