GE Healthcare makes a buyout deal in hospital management tech

By Varun Saxena

GE Healthcare ($GE) is looking to cash in on the march toward hospital efficiency.

It announced the acquisition of operating room management and analytics solutions provider CHCA Computer Systems today for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

CHCA's key product is the Opera operating room management system. The software provides "real-time data to support the decision-making and management of surgical procedures," according to GE. Its functionalities include waiting list management, the real-time management of surgical procedures, and assistance anticipating and managing the materials needs of the operating room.

"CHCA's Opera solution complements our current OR and Perioperative software portfolio and will allow us to deliver a more integrated offering that better connects the workflow throughout the OR, using a mix of software, real-time data and powerful analytics to help drive better outcomes for patients," said Jan De Witte, President and CEO of GE Healthcare IT in the April 2 statement.

The acquisition is GE's second stab at capitalizing on the trend toward hospital efficiency by purchasing a software provider. In January the company purchased API Healthcare, a provider of hospital operations management products, such as staffing and scheduling solutions.

In its announcement of the API acquisition, GE Healthcare said it will assist hospitals and healthcare systems in three key areas: asset optimization, patient flow optimization and workforce optimization.

Following both acquisitions, company officials said the purchase enhances its "industrial Internet" strategy, which involves using the Internet to connect machines, produce analytics and improve efficiencies at the workplace.

The latest acquisition builds on GE's prior relationship with CHCA. Since 2003 GE has partnered with CHCA to distribute and sell its operating room management solutions in Europe, according to the statement.

Besides Opera, CHCA also sells electronic health record systems, risk management software and instrument sterilization management software.

"More than ever, hospitals need systems that drive enterprise-wide efficiencies, reduce unnecessary costs and enable improved patient care," said De Witte in the statement. "With this acquisition, we will now be able to offer more of our customers end-to-end workflow and decision support software solutions in high acuity care."

A request for the purchase price and further comment was not answered by GE by the time of publication.

- here's the release

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