News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday June 27, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a $300 million deal over the next 15 years, all to make health care better.
On Thursday, Georgia Regents Medical Center signed an alliance with corporate giant Philips. It's the first of its kind in the country.
Dr. Cargill Alleyne, director of neurosurgery at Georgia Regents University, said, "Very often at the ground level, clinicians can see that there's a particular problem with a piece of equipment or see the need for a novel piece of equipment."
He says making those needs known to the company making the equipment can be difficult.
"At the company level they may be working in the next iteration of high-end equipment," Alleyne said. "But it's very hard for the two to meet."
But that's all about to change as Georgia Regents Medical Center signed a history making alliance with Philips Thursday afternoon.
According to Alleyne, "This collaboration will actually make it really easy for research and innovation to take hold."
"We'll demonstrate that by working together we'll decrease mortality, increase satisfaction, deliver results in a more seamless way," said David S. Hefner, CEO of Georgia Regents Medical Center.
They plan to do that by finding solutions from start to finish instead of just buying equipment.
"Making the equipment, that's quite frankly the easy part," said Steve Laczynski, president of the Americas for Philips Healthcare. "But [we are] really looking at how we can take the technology, how we can take the clinical practice and meld it together and transform health care."
The collaboration was sparked by a need to keep up with health care reform.
"We intend to deliver better health care, faster and at a less expensive cost," Hefner said.
For Alleyne, this collaboration will result in better equipment for him, which means better care for his patients.
"I think this is a great leap forward, and I think everyone benefits. The company, the physicians and especially the patients," Alleyne said.
They have been working on this deal for 18 months, which will go into effect on July 1.
Philips also provides consumer products, which means things like lighting for the hospital and even Sonicare toothbrushes for the dental school.
They are also working on tele-medicine technology, which would help people from all over, even the most rural areas, receive great health care.