Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Medical Practices Revolve Around Centricity: Latest Version Receives Seal of Approval


Centricity Practice Solution 10’s familiar feel makes clinic workflows smoother and easier to manage.


The healthcare industry has developed many of the most breathtakingly advanced technologies of any industry. We can now view accurate three-dimensional images from inside the human body without making a single incision. We can provide premature babies with the environments they need to grow stronger. We have created machines that help patients breathe, even when critically injured.

But what about the clerical functions essential for providing quality healthcare, like booking appointments, dealing with patient medical records and keeping track of finances? For a long while (and still so in many cases), pen and paper ruled the roost, with some more forward-looking practice managers experimenting with spreadsheets and accounts packages.


All the pieces of the puzzle

Eventually, clinics adopted the often difficult to navigate and poorly integrated rudimentary database systems available at the time. This all changed in 2006 when GE integrated its Centricity Practice Management and Centricity EMR products into one solution. From booking appointments and managing documents to filing patient records and billing and finances, Centricity Practice Solution brought together software tools for dealing with every aspect of running a medical practice. Today, Centricity Practice Solution 10 is the industry’s most comprehensive package for running a clinic, with an overhauled user interface and an even sharper understanding of what physicians and practice managers are looking for in a software solution.

It’s all too easy to make these bold claims, but practice managers who’ve been using Centricity for a number of years are sure of their validity. “Since we began using Centricity Practice Solution in 2007,” says Barb Watkins, a former ICU nurse turned practice manager at the Heart and Vascular Center of Arizona (HVCA), “we’ve all been impressed by the positive impact it’s had on the way we work. Everything fits together.Every member of the team, from the physicians to our back office assistants, just loves the Windows-like interface. It makes their jobs a whole lot easier.” 

Barb and her practice take a progressive approach to the computerization of practice management, and the US Government encourages it—the “Meaningful Use” legislation incentivizes practices to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) systems by 2012. EMR solves several problems found in traditional handwritten patient notes, not least of which is illegible handwriting that could prevent a physician obtaining the complete view of a patient’s condition. The EMR makes all records discoverable by medical staff within a practice’s network, so no time is wasted searching through tens of thousands of files for a paper record or chart. “Centricity Practice Solution 10 is CCHIT certified for Meaningful Use Stage 1,” adds Barb, “the versatility of its reporting system means that we can easily track our progress towards the Meaningful Use standards.”


Out and about and online

HVCA has nearly 30,000 active patients using its services across its five locations, so the ability to help patients remotely is vital. We have two outreach centers, so as long as the doctor has a laptop and internet connection, Centricity Practice Solution allows them to access patient records remotely.”

Barb also outlines the direct benefits for patients that use online services: “Using Centricity Practice Solution has helped us improve our internal communications, but it’s also expanded the services we can offer our patients. Our patient portal, made possible by Centricity Practice Solution, has 2,500 users and is expanding at a rate of 20 users every day. Our oldest user is 92 years old!”


Quickfire MQIC

The tight EMR/Practice Management integration and intuitive interface aren’t the only attractions of Centricity Practice Solution. Access to some 20-million HIPAA-compliant patient records is embedded into Centricity Practice Solution 10, helping doctors view medical information from other patient records across the USA. GE’s Medical Quality Improvement Consortium (MQIC) is a convenient way of seeing how other physicians approached a particular case, helping doctors make evidence-based decisions and enabling one-stop quality reporting.

Barb Watkins and the physicians at HVCA have been using MQIC records to help them gain from the collective knowledge of others since 2008. “We’re so pleased with the way Centricity Practice Solution makes MQIC records readily available. It really helps our doctors make better, faster decisions right from their desktops.”


Centricity Practice Solution 10

Over in Fargo, North Dakota, Kathy Barrows and her colleagues at Internal Medicine Associates have been trialing the pre-release version of Centricity Practice Solution 10 for the past 12 months. “There’s no doubt all our workflows are faster with version 10. We have instant access to the information we need, and we’ve made significant savings on administrative time, paperwork and reduced errors. Ultimately, it means the quality of care we provide is better. We love it!”

Kathy’s practice of 21 employees had previously used a pen and paper system before moving to an earlier version of Centricity Practice Solution in March 2009. “We were looking for an electronic medical record system that had MQIC capabilities, and Centricity Practice Solution ticked all the right boxes.”

Medical practices of all sizes and situations are being encouraged by the government to adopt electronic medical records and computerize their processes, with the goal of improving the overall quality and consistency of care. The experiences of Barb Watkins and Kathy Barrows are clear illustrations that EMR is the future, as are the other clear benefits of going digital: online patient portals, the MQIC database, access to financial dashboards and genuinely useful reporting tools.

The life-saving work of physicians rightfully steals everyone’s attention, but much of this work would be ineffective without the back office employees who ensure patients are booked in, billed correctly and medical notes recorded and stored properly.

Centricity Practice Solution is a complete suite that makes sure every facet of a medical practice runs smoothly and with maximum workflow efficiency, from the doctor’s desktop PC to the accountant’s ledger.