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In a concerted effort to boost its portfolio in software, data and analytics, diversified conglomerate General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report) recently inked an agreement to acquire healthcare workforce analytics firm API Healthcare for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, expected to close in the current quarter, is in tune with General Electric’s Industrial Internet strategy and will augment its Healthcare segment with complementary offerings.

Headquartered in Hartford, Wis., API Healthcare offers staffing and scheduling; patient classification; human resources; talent management; payroll; time and attendance; business analytics; and staffing agency solutions to over 1,600 hospitals and staffing agencies in the U.S. It was rated as the best staffing and scheduling solution provider in 2012 by KLAS, an independently owned and operated company that aims to improve healthcare technology by measuring vendor performance for its provider.    

With labor costs accounting for more than half of the operating budgets of hospitals, it has become critically imperative to improve efficiencies through real-time access and proper utilization of operational data. API Healthcare’s solutions are a strategic fit in this regard and expand GE Healthcare’s Hospital Operations Management portfolio. These services save billions of dollars in aggregate costs by eliminating unnecessary delays through immediate intervention and prompt action to eliminate patient flow bottlenecks.

The acquisition will facilitate General Electric to work with hospitals and health systems in three key areas. These include – Asset Optimization: managing and tracking asset utilization to lower costs and improve efficiency; Patient Flow Optimization: real-time managing and tracking patients and workflow from admission to discharge to lower costs and increase transparency; Workforce Optimization: gather better insight into staffing and scheduling solutions for proper work assignments. An effective and seamless management of scheduling, workflow and availability of staff, patients and assets will in turn help hospitals realize significant productivity gains and reduce healthcare costs.

General Electric is one of the most diversified technologies and financial service corporations in the world. The company’s segments include Power & Water, Oil & Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, Appliances & Lighting, and GE Capital. GE Healthcare has expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease research, drug discovery and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies.

General Electric currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies in the industry that warrant a look include Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL - Snapshot Report), Crane Co. (CR - Snapshot Report) and Icahn Enterprises, L.P. (IEP), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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