ICW – A reliable partner for international ehealth projects

GE Centricity Clinical Archive brings together all patient images and documents to enable doctors making quicker and more informed decisions. ICW provides key components for the Centricity Clinical Archive solution for cross-facility patient identification and IHE XDS-compliant data exchange. GE Healthcare and ICW are looking back on a long-term successful partnership.

An interview with Dave White:


What was the challenge for your organization and how does the project fit into your strategy as a whole?

The consolidation taking place in healthcare has our customers steadily expanding the communities they serve. As they increase their network of hospitals and clinics through acquisition and affiliation, they extend their ability to serve those communities. However, with each new relationship, several new challenges appear for the organization. They include;

  • the challenge to reliably match and manage patient identities between entities, and
  • the challenge to manage the ingestion of an increasing volume of documents and images, and
  • the challenge to share that information from a fully secure and reputable vendor neutral archive

The project consolidates disparate clinical data captured under multiple patient identities from different local hospital and clinic databases into an enterprise wide global identification that matches to a unified patient record as the patient moves between affiliated providers to receive healthcare. The unified patient record must also be expanded to include clinically relevant documents and images of various formats that are acquired with using both mobile devices and stationary medical equipment. The purpose is to provide extensive, accurate, and complete information at the point of care, at the time it is needed, in order to positively impact patient care and outcomes.

Why did you choose ICW as a partner?
ICW has a long-standing reputation for delivering robust Registry and patient identity management (MPI) solutions as well as a proven record for highly responsive professional support when called upon and customizable solutions that meet or exceed most customer requirements. ICW has the knowledgeable technical skillsets to solve region specific needs and problems around the world.

How long was the implementation phase and how did it work out?
Implementation time for Registry and MPI is a relatively short time with immediate positive results. The reason for the short implementation phase is because the MPI components leverage IHE defined standard interfaces, so no custom work was needed for the integration. This directly impacts the speed of implementation as well as the quality of the outcome. As a side note, the GEHC Centricity Clinical Archive (CCA) also leverages IHE defined standard interfaces.

Which were the biggest challenges that had to be met?
Organizational Governance must ensure source systems send complete patient demographic updates as the patient moves between affiliated providers to receive healthcare in order to maintain matches to a unified patient record that is synchronized with the MPI.

How is the day to day operation of the solution?
The ICW solution is both scalable and stable and requires very little monitoring. The solution performs as expected in supporting growth environments and it’s working when the System Administrator leaves on Friday and it’s working when they return on Monday.

What are actually the advantages of the solution?
The advantage of the ICW solution is that it actually delivers on its promise to meet the challenges facing healthcare organizations today. ICW accomplishes this using industry standards (IHE) and this works extremely well in cross community and enterprise solutions because it can be easily added to any environment (plug-n-play). Being standards-based makes it easier for customers to understand, implement and use. This in turn creates the following advantages for the customer;

  • Cost savings from the consolidation of multiple data silos into a fully secure central archive, and
  • Confidence from reliable patient identity matches between entities into a unified record, and
  • Increased number of ingestion sources of relevant clinical data documents and images, and
  • Collaboration by sharing relevant clinical data from a fully secure vendor neutral archive

What gives you greatest benefits?
The greatest benefits are derived from the actual advantages mentioned above. However, the greatest benefit come from the use of industry standards to ensure that the solutions work well everywhere and is customizable to ensure success.

What are the next steps? What is planned for the future?
Next steps are to continue the partnership to further enhance the solutions with more robust features and functionality to meet the ever increasing and evolving customer requirements triggered by a healthcare industry in transition worldwide.