MQIC collates clinical data documented by primary care physicians using GE's EMR platform, which allows CDC to track clinical symptoms, such as fever, nausea and chills, prescriptions written, and vaccination rates, as well as variables including procedures performed, pregnancy and patient age, within 24 hours of being documented in thousands of participating doctors' offices across the country.
"This is a strong example of the power of digitizing the nation's medical records," says Jim Corrigan, GE Healthcare's IT vice president and general manager. "With EMR data, not only are we able to accelerate the reporting of any aggregate changes to the health of the U.S. population, we're able to provide valuable and timely clinical data to health professionals."
CDC says it selected GE Healthcare because of its database's built-in reporting capabilities. The resulting information helps the CDC understand the characteristics of H1N1 outbreaks and determine who is most at-risk for developing complications from the virus. Traditionally, this data is collected using insurance claims data, a process with a significant lag time.