GE Healthcare unveils Centricity Advance SaaS solution for small, independent clinical practices


GE Healthcare demonstrated the newest addition to the Centricity® family of healthcare IT solutions, Centricity Advance.

Centricity Advance is a true Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for small, independent clinical practices. Offering a combination of EMR, practice management and patient portal solutions, Centricity Advance addresses the varying challenges facing today’s small practices by offering modern technology that is simple to use and even simpler to deploy.

Centricity Advance features:

  • Economical up-front investment of time and resources
  • Intuitive training
  • Minimal maintenance and support
  • Standard protocols for advanced connectivity with outside systems

"Small physician practices are looking for an affordable solution to help them go digital quickly, minimizing or eliminating the disruptions of lengthy implementation and training times," said Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s information technology business. "When we deliver automation to their practices with solutions like Centricity Advance, we help them spend more time where it matters most—with patients, improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of care."

Minimal Implementation and Training Time

With Centricity Advance, physician practices can be up and running quickly, often completing implementation and training in under four weeks. Simple tutorials walk a clinician through the first use of its many features before taking the extra administrative work out of each clinical process it touches. The system’s intuitive design gives caregivers greater control over how practices use the system and makes activating or deactivating features as easy as clicking a button.

"I don’t have the luxury of time or resources for a full-scale EMR implementation," said Dr. Desiree Butter, sole practitioner at Colonnades Family Medicine in Wexford, Pa. Dr. Butter uses the system to navigate the care of eight to ten patients per day, on average. "I appreciated the minimal training time for a solution truly targeted to meet my needs as a small, independent physician. It’s rare to get the rich functionality usually found in larger solutions at a price usually found in smaller ones."

Centricity Advance’s Patient Self-Service Portal provides patients with the keys to their care. Using their own secure password, patients can log in from anywhere to schedule their own appointments, request prescription refills or access billing statements, lab results and private messages from their clinicians.

SaaS: A Fast, Flexible and Affordable Solution

True SaaS technology is designed to be faster and more flexible than other Web-based EMRs since it is created from the ground-up to be hosted and delivered over the Internet to multiple customers. This model allows for "on-the-fly" upgrades as well as rapid deployment of value-added "à la carte" features.

Many vendors discuss what they call "Software as a Service" offerings but, in most cases, are actually referring to "hosted" or ASP (application service provider) models, in which traditional client/server software is accessed through a Web browser. "The differences are subtle but critical," said Chittaranjan Mallipeddi, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT’s newly launched SaaS business unit. After limited initial start-up costs, Centricity Advance is available to customers for a low monthly subscription fee. Most ASP models charge the customer a large upfront fee for the software purchase, followed by indefinite recurring hosting fees.

"Centricity Advance is designed with simplicity and pliability at center stage. After all, we know our customers aren’t buying a system for today; they’re buying a commitment to their future," Mallipeddi added.

Focused on "Meaningful Use" and the Strength of GE

Centricity Advance is well-suited to position eligible providers to prepare to demonstrate "meaningful use" of their EMR and take advantage of financial incentives available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 while improving overall practice management.

"Physicians know they need to adopt an EMR in the near-term in order to maximize their potential for stimulus reimbursements that start in 2011. In addition to seeking a solution that is tailored to the needs of their independent practices, they’re looking for a strong, long-term partner with the experience to help them get the most out of their system," said Jim Corrigan, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT’s ambulatory care business. "That’s exactly what we’ve launched today in Centricity Advance, a SaaS EMR backed by the strength and stability of GE."

The Centricity Portfolio

Centricity Advance complements GE’s existing portfolio by adding a "plug and play" SaaS EMR option for users that need an EMR today with the flexibility to grow alongside their practice tomorrow. It’s the latest addition to the Centricity product suite providing the clinical and financial tools the market demands, and by connecting the entire continuum, helping enable better decisions at critical points in the care cycle. Across its entire wingspan of EMR, imaging, connectivity and business management IT products, GE Healthcare remains focused on identifying the information most important to its customers and creating solutions that will deliver it — when and where they need it most.

Today’s Roundtable Discussion

This afternoon, GE Healthcare will convene a group of industry thought leaders at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to discuss the EMR adoption challenges facing many small practices. Participants will discuss why the simple SaaS model becomes a vital option.

Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation, member of GE’s healthymagination advisory board and former Speaker of the House, will deliver the event keynote before joining the panel.

"As our healthcare system moves toward digital medical records, GE Healthcare has introduced a solution that meets the needs of small physician practices everywhere," said Gingrich. "Their technology is both simple to use and simple to implement – exactly what is needed to create a 21st century intelligent healthcare system."

Other panelists include Gartner Research Analyst Jeff Woods, Washington, D.C. practitioner and Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare Member Dr. Peter Basch and Dr. Butter, who will also walk attendees through a live demonstration of the solution.