GE goes for the gold

CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS: “Every year, the value of the analytics capabilities will increase,” says De Witte

Brings EMRs, analytics to London 2012 Olympics

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – For the first time ever, the United States Olympic Committee will use electronic medical records rather than paper charts to manage care for more that 700 athletes at the summer games.

The USOC announced May 24 that it would deploy GE’s Centricity Practice Solution, which integrates EMR with practice management technology, to manage the American athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and for 3,000 additional records maintained by USOC staff.

Once upon a time, the USOC relied on pallets of paper records, shipped around the globe, to the games’ host city. Now, at last, EMRs will offer doctors and caregivers faster access to athletes’ medical records and enable more targeted care.

“It’s definitely, for the Olympics, the right time to jump on [EMRs] now,” Jan De Witte, chief executive officer of GE Healthcare IT and Performance Solutions tells Healthcare IT News. “The EMR has shown its value for healthcare in driving quality, both with completeness of data and speed of decision-making.”

The London deployment was set to go in June, and “be, for us, a record-speed implementation,” says De Witte. “We’re doing it in less than 90 days.” So far, the process has gone well, he adds – especially with the training for the 100 or so people on the USOC medical staff who will be using the Centricity technology.

Part of that preparation involves populating the medical records with the “relevant information, says De Witte. From June right through the closing ceremonies, all information related to the athletes’ health and performance is going “straight into the EMR.”

“The introduction of GE’s EMR technology is a big step forward for the USOC sports medicine program,” Bill Moreau, MD, managing director of sports medicine at USOC, said in a statement. “EMR technology will allow us to better monitor and analyze the health of Team USA athletes, not only when they receive care at our facilities, but also when they are competing and training around the world. Our elite athletes have dedicated themselves to performing at the highest levels in sport and I believe this technology will help us to support them with the highest levels of sports medicine.”

“My extensive training and playing schedule takes me all over the world and the last thing I want to worry about is my medical records,” added Alex Morgan, forward for the U.S. Women’s soccer team. “Knowing that not only will my doctors have quick and easy access to my information but that I will as well, no matter where I am, puts my mind at ease. It allows me to not worry about injuries and focus on the task at hand – in this case, winning the gold for Team USA in London.”