HIMSS10 – GE Healthcare

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Dr. Eric Fishman speaks with Vishal Wanchoo, Presdent and CEO of Healthcare IT at General Electric Healthcare. Mr. Wanchoo describes several of GE’s programs to assist physicians select and implement the GE Centricity EHR/PM system. One of these programs is PowerStart- an initiative helping small physician practices implement an EHR/PM system with a short implementation cycle time of 4-weeks. Stimulus Simplicity is another program that helps physicians in smaller practices overcome cost barriers associated with adopting Health IT. The last program that Mr. Wanchoo discusses is GE’s Clinical Knowledge Platform, Qualibria, which is set for launch in late 2010

Category: Featured, HIMSS10, Tradeshows
Date: April 19, 2010
Views:4,846 views

Dr. Eric Fishman: This is Dr. Eric Fishman with EHRtv and today, we have the unique pleasure of speaking with Vishal Wanchoo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare IT at GE. Vishal, we're at HIMSS10 and I thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me. Obviously, GE Healthcare is a huge company and you run the gamut from the smallest of medical offices to the largest and obviously, a large number of implementations in hospitals.

Vishal Wanchoo: Yes.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Today, we'll be speaking most particularly about the GE Centricity line and some of the actually rather unique initiatives that you're undertaking to facilitate physician implementation for Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHR). If you could give us a little background, I'd appreciate that.

Vishal Wanchoo: Absolutely. First, it's a pleasure to be here with you, Eric.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Thank you.

Vishal Wanchoo: The buzz at the show is all about Meaningful Use and how customers can get there. We know from our experience with dealing in the ambulatory setting that there's a large segment of under penetration in the ambulatory setting. What we've been trying to do is things with the product line and product suite coupled with other things that GE can bring to the table to really facilitate as quickly as possible to customers to get to Meaningful Use. We have a span of products, as you know, that cover both revenue cycle management as well as electronic medical records (EMRs).

Dr. Eric Fishman: For just about every specialty.

Vishal Wanchoo: For just about every specialty in the care setting all the way, as you said, Eric, from small physician practices, which are very under penetrated, to the larger multi-specialty practices. Let me just focus on some of the initiatives that we've specifically targeted to really accelerate adoption.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Please.

Vishal Wanchoo: The first and foremost I would say is implementation cycle time.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Is that PowerStart?

Vishal Wanchoo: The PowerStart offering where we really combine our Lean Six Sigma methodology in taking out cycles from implementation. What we're targeting is really a four week kind of cycle time to get customers live both on revenue cycle as well as EMRs.

Dr. Eric Fishman: That's an impressively short period of time. That would be for a 1, 2, 5 even 10 doctor practice?

Vishal Wanchoo: Right, exactly. It's the 10 and under doctor practice which is really the segment that, as we said, is going to see a lot of the activity. We have spent a lot of time over the last few months focusing on this both on the software side as well as a lot on the process side. This is something that we can go out now with confidence and implement. The second one I would say taking some of the hurdles off the table.

Dr. Eric Fishman: There's certainly financial burdens.

Vishal Wanchoo: Finanancial burdens, stimulus simplicity

Dr. Eric Fishman: You've gotten a lot of publicity about your I think it's two billion dollars of available capital to facilitate implementation.

Vishal Wanchoo: That's right.

Dr. Eric Fishman: If you can tell us about that, that'd be good.

Vishal Wanchoo: Yes. We introduced a program, Eric, in July of last year. We committed an initial tranche of funding of $100 million dollars of the two billion to say this is available now for customers that want to avail themselves of this financing and it's a very simple formula. It's zero interest financing so there's really no payments for the customers. We provide the software, the hardware, the implementation services and essentially, customers don't pay us until they achieve the milestone of Meaningful Use and start to get the reimbursement from the government. So what we want to do is match the payment stream that they receive --

Dr. Eric Fishman: Forty-four thousand dollars.

Vishal Wanchoo: -- exactly - with the payment that they would make to GE.

Dr. Eric Fishman: I was recently interviewed and was asked, what's the catch and I said I don't think that there is one. So I'll ask you the same question.

Vishal Wanchoo: Well, that's a very good question. Actually, we get asked a lot of times do you provide everything that enables customers to get to Meaningful Use. The key point to understand here is that there is a joint responsibility between the customer and GE. We will provide all of the tools necessary and this is an important aspect to what we're trying to do also from a product standpoint, is all of the quality reporting that has to happen from our customers that enables Meaningful Use, we're doing things with the product to make it a lot easier for customers to report on those matrixes now required by CMS. However, the customers have to really uphold their side of the equation.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Well, off course. GE alone cannot (unintelligible) Meaningful Use. It takes two.

Vishal Wanchoo: Exactly, exactly. The other catch that customers have been concerned about is does GE commit to providing certified product and that's actually something that we warrantee. We give a guarantee to the customers that we are going to meet the certification criteria.

Dr. Eric Fishman: 2011, 13 and 14?

Vishal Wanchoo: As you know, it still hasn't been defined but as soon as it is we will uphold our side of the commitment in terms of certifying our product. So that's it in a nutshell. Then, the last point, Eric, is around content. We want to makes sure that we provide as much capability as possible with all specialties over time with starter content. That is a huge part of implementation cycle time and we want to provide out of the box content that they can actually get up and running with and they can modify over time as they see fit.

Dr. Eric Fishman: And during those four weeks, is that when the content is being modified?

Vishal Wanchoo: During the four weeks, what we want to do is provide starter contact. As folks go live, we would then start to work with customers in the event that they want to modify the content but really what we're leveraging is roughly about 35-40,000 physicians that use the Centricity EMRs. We have huge experience in terms of leveraging a content that's used and successful. That's what we've been doing in terms of packaging this. Making it available more as a product as opposed to part of the implementation will develop the content which would obviously take us longer for us to get customers to go live.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Certainly can understand that. Talk a few minutes if you would about Qualibiria.

Vishal Wanchoo: It's an exciting launch for us. We announced it today and this goes back to about three to four years ago. We signed a partnership with Intermountain Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic joined this co-development agreement. The goal here, Eric, was to really look ahead and say what is the industry lacking in terms of health care transformation. The biggest thing that we felt was lacking was the elimination of the variability that occurs especially in an acute care setting - high stress environment, sick people entering, lots of medical knowledge that's advancing, evidenced-based care that's available that we know is not delivered effectively. What we want to do is develop a tool that can essentially sit on top of EMRs. We call it a clinical knowledge platform. That's really what we've developed and launched for availability in the second half of 2010. We're demonstrating this here obviously at the show; we're excited about it and really the one core message that I want to convey is that this tool enables the elimination of variation from health care delivery.

Dr. Eric Fishman: That's an impressive goal.

Vishal Wanchoo: That's a core tenet of the program that we initiated with Intermountain and the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Eric Fishman: That's a great thing to be going for. Last question if I may. Let's talk about the Regional Extension Centers. Obviously, they're a reality; they've now been funded. What is GE's position as it relates to the RECs?

Vishal Wanchoo: You know a lot of the things that I talked about, Eric, in terms of things that we're doing to enable our customers to get to Meaningful Use in as rapid a fashion as they can is something that we focus on I would say as an extension to provide that capability to the RECs - the PowerStart offering, the financing offering. That's going to be extending obviously to the REC's to offer the customers, the content. The one thing I didn't talk about was the hosting ability. We would host both the practice management as well as the EMR.

Dr. Eric Fishman: You could set up the base?

Vishal Wanchoo: We could set up the RECs for example for them to host the entire suite application so that they could provide it to the smaller physician practices and as you know, hosting and standardization is critical. So those are the kinds of things that we're doing to facilitate RECs.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Vishal, I thank you very much.

Vishal Wanchoo: Okay, Eric. Pleasure.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Great talking to you. This is Dr. Eric Fishman for EHRtv. We've been speaking with Vishal Wanchoo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare IT at GE. Thank you.

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