GE targets growing market for clinical information systems

April 11, 2001

GE Medical Systems has moved quickly to turn technology acquired last fall into a commercial foot in the door — this time in the clinical information systems market. The company has launched a national marketing effort to support its Integriti

GE Medical Systems has moved quickly to turn technology acquired last fall into a commercial foot in the door - this time in the clinical information systems market. The company has launched a national marketing effort to support its Integriti system, a modular, Windows NT-based product developed by SEC, a CIS firm acquired by GE in November. This is GE’s first foray into the enterprise CIS market.

SEC piloted the CIS engine, then called Prometheus, at the University of Michigan Health System in the early 1990s. Initial applications were in the emergency department and intensive care unit. Including UMHS, the CIS engine is installed at nine hospitals, although GE declined to identify any of the other sites.

UMHS uses the CIS engine in the ER and trauma/burn ICU, as well as its operating rooms and outpatient clinics. UMHS physicians report that they like the software’s ability to provide them with a complete history of each patient and each visit. The university is also adding a related portal for referring physicians and patients.

Several features set Integriti apart from other commercially available CIS engines, according to Sachin Kheterpal, global marketing manager of clinical information systems at GE. As a modular, scalable product designed to function as both a department-specific and enterprise-wide CIS, it can be implemented in whatever fashion best suits the needs of the facility. Modules range from a simple, stand-alone dictation template to a full-blown CIS with multiple applications for various care areas of a hospital. Most screens and all clinical content are configurable by the client. The system sells for $100,000 and up, depending on configuration.

“Integriti offers not only enterprise-wide integration on a single platform but also deep clinical functionality for each clinical care area - be it intensive care, general care, emergency department, perioperative, or enterprise initiatives - such as order entry or clinical data repository,” Kheterpal said.

Integriti automatically notifies clinicians of at-risk patients via alphanumeric paging, secure e-mail, and work lists. This feature takes advantage of Integriti’s embedded links to wireless access devices. The handheld unit is synchronized to the enterprise clinical data repository, providing clinicians with instant access to essential elements of the patient record, including images. Windows CE-based implementations are under consideration.

“The GUI (graphical user interface) is unique because it is designed to minimize clicks and help the physician or technician understand the context of the data,” Kheterpal said. “Additionally, we help make the GUI fit the clinical care area need, including Web, client/server, handheld, and touchscreen.”

Because Integriti can be used over wired and wireless local area networks, wired wide area networks, and the Internet, the system incorporates multiple security mechanisms. Role-based authentication ensures that data are reviewed on a need-to-know basis only. Detailed audit trails ensure that all data entry and review is tracked, while 128-bit single socket layer encryption protects data during transmission.

In addition to providing access to critical patient data, Integriti also helps physicians collect and analyze clinical and surgical information. All data are stored in a relational database at a discrete and granular level. Advanced research is enabled by query tools that allow authorized clinicians and researchers to perform cross-patient analyses. These queries and data analyses can reveal patterns of care delivery or patient outcomes that can further improve the patient care process.

GE is now adding medical record review capabilities and additional handheld device support to Integriti.