EAST ORANGE, NJ - East Orange General Hospital announced a collaboration with GE Healthcare IT to incorporate the latest state-of-the-art hospital-based Electronic Health Record in an effort to improve patient care. The new system also helps promote efficiency and reduce costs under President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The recently-signed agreement brings the full capability of the GE's Centricity Enterprise, including a CCHIT-certified inpatient EMR as well as administrative, departmental and revenue cycle solutions, to the hospital's 211-bed facility and across its four outpatient centers. This technology will meet stage one of meaningful use by November 2010 to create one common electronic patient record that could be accessed when patients visit East Orange General Hospital, making the hospital one of the first in the state to implement such a program and have meaningful use.
Wast Orange General Hospital, under EOGH President Kevin Slavin, started community meetings regularly. In one of the meetings, a GE representative happened to be there and they helped introduce the system to the hospital.
Dr. Jayant Barai, who was part of the selection committee and grant application committee, said that they have examined over six companies and found GE to be the best.
"We conducted a thorough evaluation of many of the industry's leading solutions and, in the end, GE's product combined with the passion and partnership we saw behind it made it the clear choice for advancing patient care," Slavin said. "We have begun a relationship with GE that we will benefit from for years to come."
East Orange General Hospital will receive $8 million through Obama's stimulus package, which will cover the cost of equipment. The operating budget will come from East Orange General Hospital.
Slavin said that there will be enough money saved in the operating budget because it will drastically reduce the cost of manual record keeping.
However one main concern was the confidentiality of the records. GE's healthcare IT president and CEO Vishal Wanchoo said that GE is handling hospital record systems throughout the country. East Orange General Hospital is the first one implementing the system in New Jersey. He also said that there is a risk of leakage of the records, but the risk is a lot less than leakage through manual systems.
Wanchoo added that are layers of security. The password is given by hospitals to trustworthy employees only. All information is sent through encryption. The system has been tested and used from Philadelphia to California in many health care institutions.
The use of electronic medical records also provides many benefits for the patients. Having their health information easily accessible and available to all of their physicians and nurses helps with both the accuracy of diagnosis and avoids potential duplication of costly services, such as repeated diagnostic tests. The electronic medical records system aligns with GE's vision for changing health care delivery by developing products that can reduce cost while increasing access and quality of care.
Chief Information Officer of East Orange General Hospital Tom Ciccarelli said that electronic medical records eliminate the need for paper charts and greatly improve the coordination of a patient's care.
"All of their medical information is integrated into one common record, allowing physicians and nurses ready access to the most recent hospital visit notes, current conditions, medications and allergies, as well as laboratory, radiology and other diagnostic test results," he said.