GE Medical Systems and NBC Partner to Bring Patient Programming Into Hospitals via The Patient Channel

January 8, 2003

NEW YORK & WAUKESHA, Wis.-- GE Medical Systems and NBC, both business units of General Electric Company, have launched a new television channel that will bring health-related programming into hospitals across the United States.

The Patient Channel ( provides topical, network-quality programming delivered to hospital patient rooms and waiting rooms. The goal of the channel is to educate patients and their families during the times when they need accurate information most.

The Patient Channel combines the strengths of GE Medical Systems -- with its more than 100 years of experience in medical imaging, information, healthcare services and hospital staff education -- with NBC, the nation's oldest broadcast network.

"Bringing information about common illnesses, medical conditions and treatments to the bedside is of value to both patients and health care providers," said Paul Mirabella, president & CEO for GE Medical Systems Healthcare Services. "Informed patients take an active role in getting back on the road to good health. The factual, up-to-date information found on The Patient Channel supplements the care and advice offered by a patient's personal healthcare provider."

Programming on The Patient Channel covers a wide spectrum of health and wellness topics, ranging from heart disease, cancer and diabetes to smoking cessation, nutrition and exercise.

"Our programming empowers patients to take a more active role in their own care," said Dave Ross, manager of The Patient Channel. "Real patients and their doctors share their stories to help others understand not just the `what' and `why' of a medical condition, but also `how' they can deal with it in a positive manner."

Three outside advisory boards, consisting of experts in medicine, patient care, education and ethics ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of programming, review all content prior to airing and identify new opportunities for topics that are contemporary and of high-interest to the general public.

Hospitals administrators are responding favorably to The Patient Channel because it frees staff resources, while still delivering the educational information to patients required by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and other regulatory bodies. The Patient Channel standardizes and increases access to patient education content 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. The outcome is that nursing staffs are able to focus on quality patient care while supporting the messages delivered in the programming.

"I recommended that our hospital sign up for The Patient Channel because it fits well with our existing practices," said Mary Beth Kennedy, RN, BSN, Indiana Regional Hospital in Indiana, Penn. "These programs are a great starting point for providing health information basics and encouraging questions. The concept fits with JCAHO recommendations and with our own policy to increase interaction with patients and their families."

Other hospitals educators who have previewed the programming agree that delivery of health education via television not only meets most people's preferred learning method, it reduces the budget required for hospitals to author and create their own educational programming while providing quality content nursing staff can support and reinforce.

The Patient Channel was designed with the input of executives and educators at member hospitals as a way to increase patient understanding and involvement in their own care. NBC participated by consulting on the commercial strategy and will sell ads on the channel. "The Patient Channel provides sponsors the perfect bridge between traditional media advertising and place-based advertising to reach a highly targeted, measurable audience of healthcare consumers," said Jay Ireland, president, NBC Television Stations.

GE Medical Systems Healthcare Services offers a broad portfolio of business and clinical solutions for healthcare providers. These include asset, performance improvement, education and financial services designed to help healthcare providers improve quality, enhance performance, increase productivity and reduce costs. GE Medical Systems Healthcare Services is a business of GE Medical Systems, an $8 billion global leader in medical imaging and technology.

Source: GE Medical Systems Healthcare Services