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Physician IT

xwave, GE Healthcare to deliver software to Ont. docs

TORONTO – xwave, an Aliant Company, and GE Healthcare announced they have signed a 15-year contract with Smart Systems for Health Agency (SSHA) and OMA e-Services Inc. (Ontario.MD), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association, to deliver an affordable clinical management system to Ontario physicians.

The system is an application service provider (ASP) solution that complements the mandate of the Physician IT Program. The program, developed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), supports the transformation of the primary healthcare sector by promoting the adoption of high-quality, integrated information technology.

To date, the Ontario program has certified the systems of about a dozen vendors. Physicians are free to choose among the solutions available to them.

“Many physicians today are looking for tools to automate administration in an effort to increase efficiency, lower costs, improve service delivery and patient safety,” said Gary Folker (pictured at left), managing director, Clinical Management System, xwave. “Designed by clinicians for clinicians, Centricity Physician Office meets these objectives. As an ASP solution, and one that may be funding-eligible under Ontario’s Physician IT Program, the solution offers doctors an affordable, easy-to-adopt option that draws on xwave’s and GE’s considerable healthcare application-engineering experience.”

“The fact that it’s an internet-based ASP is an important feature,” said Dr. David Grant, a GP in Kitchener, Ont., and one of the physicians piloting the solution. He pointed out a recent case in which a local medical facility was broken into and servers containing patient data were stolen. “I feel more confident that the backup is handled by secure data centres.”

GE Healthcare’s Centricity Physician Office software forms the core of xwave’s ASP solution, which has been developed for the Canadian market to offer physicians full electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) functionality.

The solution comprises two main components: Centricity Physician Office EMR, and Centricity Physician Office PM.

With Centricity Physician Office EMR, doctors can access, via a secure intranet, pertinent patient data such as lab results, health profiles, and medical history. The Centricity solution has the capability of interfacing directly with electronic diagnostic equipment (e.g., for blood pressure, temperature, ECG, and fetal ultrasound) and automatically populating patients’ charts.

As the management component, Centricity Physician Office PM handles all billing and reporting; electronic claims and remittance; inventory control; and multi-site/multi-physician scheduling. It also facilitates inter-office workflow (making document and chart-retrieval easier within the office), and enables scanning of paper records so they can be integrated into the electronic system without manual re-entry.

“Centricity Physician Office is one of the most robust and user-friendly electronic medical record programs in the industry,” said Laurie Rogers, general manager, Healthcare IT, for GE Healthcare Canada. “The program was designed around the workflow of a doctor’s office and we are excited to offer this technology in the Ontario marketplace.”

“The Physician IT Program funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care helps physicians choose a clinical management system as part of an ongoing program to help physicians harness healthcare technology and improve practice and clinical efficiency,” said Dr. Kenneth Sky, Chair of Ontario.MD Board of Directors.

As an ASP solution fully managed by xwave, Centricity Physician Office can be purchased by physicians as a pay-by-month Web service that is easy to adopt (it’s Windows-based), doesn’t require costly investment in office servers and IT support, and is secure.

Patient data is stored in two redundant state-of-the-art SSHA data centres. The data is accessible only by the practitioner who created it and by those permitted by the practitioner to see it.

SSHA also provides the secure network connections to ensure physicians have optimum access to their patient data. xwave offers all necessary training, support, upgrades and security, and will be compliant with the Physician IT Program funding requirements and medical and legislative guidelines.

In addition to benefits such as improved data access and increased clinical efficiency, solutions such as the xwave Centricity ASP can help maintain data accuracy, in turn enhancing patient care. “There’s no comparison in the quality of data-capture on paper versus an electronic system,” said Dr. Mark Wilkinson, a Stratford, Ont. GP also piloting the xwave-GE solution.

xwave operates a dedicated Healthcare Practice that has developed solutions for healthcare clients for more than 30 years. Projects include an electronic patient-referral system for the Ottawa Heart Institute; prescription and medical-claims processing systems for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador; application and infrastructure support for the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation; and medical portals such as DoctorsNS.com for the Medical Society of Nova Scotia.

About xwave
With more than $340 million in revenues and 1,500 people, xwave is one of the largest business-solutions companies in Canada, with locations in St. John`s, Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Ottawa, Toronto, New England, Washington D.C., and Ireland. More information can be found at www.xwave.com.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare’s expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring and life support systems, disease research, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping physicians detect disease earlier and to tailor personalized treatments for patients. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit the website at www.gehealthcare.com.

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