NYC Health & Hospitals will replace hundreds of medical imaging machines systemwide as part of a $224 million contract with GE Healthcare.
It's part of a broader push to standardize technology at the New York health system, which has included deploying a single electronic health record system, a single picture archiving and communication system and now a primary vendor for its imaging machines.
"Health & Hospitals has a new vision of seeing itself as a single, large entity," said Dr. Michael Ambrosino, chair of the radiology director's council for the health system and director of radiology at NYC Health & Hospitals/Bellevue.
Ambrosino said radiology would be one "easy clincial way" to bring the system together since so much of the practice is done electronically.
Under the 10-year contract, NYC Health & Hospitals will upgrade at least 230 of its imaging units—including MRI machines, CT scanners and X-ray machines—within the first four years, the health system said. That's roughly half of the imaging machines implemented at the 11-hospital system.
In the past, each hospital selected imaging machines independently.
"We're standardizing our technology to offer patients the same quality of care regardless of what facility they visit," Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of the system, said in a statement.
The health system hasn't determined which facilities will receive imaging upgrades first, but plans to do a phased rollout. NYC Health & Hospitals/Coney Island, which is undergoing a renovation project, has already been allocated $20 million of the $224 million technology investment. That will go toward implementing 47 new imaging machines, including ultrasounds and X-ray units.
NYC Health & Hospitals has 470 imaging machines in total implemented at its facilities. But not all of the health system's imaging units will be upgraded under the contract, Ambrosino said. While major imaging technologies like CT scanners and MRI machines will be obtained from GE Healthcare, the health system plans to look at other vendors for some equipment.
"Not every single piece of equipment will be with this vendor," Ambrosino said. "A single vendor can't do everything equally well."
The imaging technology market is difficult to quantify given how expansive it is, though GE Healthcare is undeniably among the top players, said Srikanth Kompalli, program manager for medical imaging at market research firm Frost & Sullivan. A global analysis Frost & Sullivan released earlier this year found that GE Healthcare accounted for the plurality of the ultrasounds market's revenue, at 24%.
"There's eight to nine modalities, put together, that define your diagnostic imaging industry," Kompalli said, noting ultrasound, X-ray and MRI machines as examples.
While GE, Philips and Siemens lead the market, there are other competitors to consider when homing in on specific equipment segments, he said.
GE Healthcare reported $19.8 billion in revenue last year, representing 16% of GE's total $121.6 billion in revenue. For contrast, the technology conglomerate's largest segment, GE Aviation, posted $30.6 billion in revenue for 2018.
GE Healthcare reported $3.7 million in profit last year, up 6% from 2017.
Another component of NYC Health & Hospitals' effort to standardize processes across the system has involved a project to upgrade its information technology, allocating roughly $1 billion for a systemwide rollout of a new EHR. The health system expects to complete its implementation of the Epic Systems Corp. system, which it signed in 2013, by the end of the year.
NYC Health & Hospitals, which has cut back its workforce and shuffled its leadership in recent years, has been working on a financial transformation plan to avoid a $1.8 billion budget deficit by fiscal 2020. The health system on Thursday said the plan is working, successfully having closed 65% of its $1.8 billion structural budget gap at the end of its fiscal 2019.