COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – For the first time ever, the United States Olympic Committee will use electronic medical records rather than paper charts to manage care for more that 700 athletes at the summer games.
The USOC announced Thursday that it will deploy GE’s Centricity Practice Solution, which integrates EMR with practice management technology, to manage the care of more than 700 American athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and for 3,000 additional records maintained by USOC staff.
Once upon a time, the USOC relied on pallets of paper records, shipped around the globe, to the the games' host city. Now, at last, EMRs will offer doctors and caregivers faster access to athletes’ medical records and enable more targeted care.
"It's definitely, for the Olympics, the right time to jump on [EMRs] now," Jan De Witte, chief executive officer of GE Healthcare IT and Performance Solutions tells Healthcare IT News. "The EMR has shown its value for healthcare in driving quality, both with completeness of data and speed of decision-making."
Set to go live in June, the London deployment will "be, for us, a record-speed implementation," says De Witte. "We're doing it in less than 90 days." So far, the process has gone well, he reports, especially with the training for the 100 or so people on the USOC medical staff who'll be using the Centricity technology.
Part of that preparation involves populating the medical records with the "relevant information for 700 athletes and close to 3,000 staff and volunteers" who will be in the system, says De Witte. From June right through the closing ceremonies, all information related to the athletes' health and performance is going "straight into the EMR."