On May 24, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced that, for the first time, it will use an electronic medical record (EMR) solution from GE Healthcare for managing the care of its athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The USOC will be using GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solution, an integrated EMR and practice management product, for managing the care of the 700 athletes competing under its banner in London.
“We’re excited that the USOC, for the first time in its history, is going to use an EMR system; that’s huge for the industry. And of course, we’re happy that they’re using our solutions,” Jan De Witte, president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT and Performance Solutions, Barrington, Ill., told Healthcare Informatics.
De Witte said it’s clear that the time has come for leveraging the EMR to care for athletes in the Olympics setting. And he gave credit to Dr. Bill Moreau, the USOC managing director of sports medicine, who, De Witte said, “is the visionary who clearly understands the power that an EMR can bring to the US Olympic Committee, both in driving the quality of care when it comes to treating athletes, but also the power of analytics, on an ongoing basis, to continue to improve the state of the art, state of the protocols, in caring for top athletes.” De Witte explained that Moreau reached out to GE, expressing delight with the capabilities of the company’s Centricity Practice solution for its robust capability to manage the quantity and diversity of caregivers and situations, and its intuitive user interface and workflow.
De Witte said that the system will be up and running by early June, for the 96 physicians who are part of Team USA and who are currently being trained in use of the solution. The EMR will run on a secure server located in Colorado Springs, Colo., while GE will deploy IT support staff in London to provide onsite technical and application support. The records of all athletes who have records of injury or illness will be uploaded into the EMR, and the system will be ready for the inputting of any needed current information by Team USA physicians onsite. Significantly, De Witte noted that “This server will remain up in Colorado Springs, and will remain an infrastructure for the US Olympic Committee, so that the current and future Olympic athletes can be followed in the system.”