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Electronic Medical Records Really Do Work

Landmark Study Shows for the First Time That Electronic Medical Record Helps Patients Live Longer and Reduces Costs; Improved Survival of Dialysis

Patients, Fewer Staff Required

BOULDER, Colo. and NEW YORK, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published in the on-line medical journal BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making has demonstrated for the first time that electronic medical records improve patient care, lower mortality and reduce costs in chronic disease. (

This peer reviewed article clearly shows significant advantages achieved by using a properly organized electronic medical record.

Mortality was reduced 40% and, as a further bonus, use of the EMR increased the efficiency of the staff, leading to the ability to deliver better care with 25% fewer staff needed. This retrospective analysis of nearly 4000 patient years of prospectively collected data on dialysis patients treated over a 9-year period at The Rogosin Institute, a non-profit treatment and research institute affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College, shows that Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can have a significant positive impact on outcomes and cost in chronic disease. At last there are hard data showing what has long been hoped, that EMRs can improve care, reduce costs, and improve survival.

US dialysis patient mortality has stayed at approximately 23-24% annually for many years. This compares quite unfavorably with most of the developed countries in the world. Using this EMR, mortality dropped by almost 40% (to 15% annually) and has remained low through today. Rogosin's results are now better than 99% of US dialysis units.

George Rovegno, CEO of MIQS, notes: "For some years we have all believed that computers can provide the information tool needed to improve the quality of care, reduce costs and avoid serious errors. At last, in this landmark study, is the proof of the hypothesis. Since 80% of our healthcare costs are incurred caring for patients with chronic diseases, these findings will have important implications for the cost, quality, and safety of American health care."

Data on the Rogosin patients was entered into and managed using an electronic medical record developed by MIQS, Inc. of Boulder, CO and designed for day to day patient care. The record stores and organizes the patient's information including diagnoses, procedures, symptoms, signs, medications, orders, test results, dialysis treatments and data on all conditions, whether or not directly related to kidney disease. It stores this information from all venues of care provided by any healthcare provider. The information is layered into the system, which contains a query and decision support system and reminder tools that help medical personnel track data in real time. In a typical year over 25,000 discrete pieces of data were recorded for each patient. The system includes a large library of reports and tools that provide a mechanism to flag conditions, lab values or other unexpected health outcomes that may not normally be seen.

"We believe that having a system to collect, query and analyze extensive data -- including information that is not directly related to the condition we are treating -- greatly impacts the outcomes of patients. This is especially important for patients who have multiple systemic diseases that need ongoing evaluation and treatment by many health care providers over many years and at various sites," said Jonathan Lorch, MD, of The Rogosin Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College. "The improved mortality rates we saw in our patients who were tracked using MIQS are striking."


The MIQS electronic patient record was incorporated in three Rogosin Institute dialysis centers in 1998, 1999 and 2000. By December 31, 2006, the patients had been treated by maintenance hemodialysis for a total of 3924 treatment years. A retrospective analysis was made using query tools embedded in the software. The data was compared with patient information compiled from the US Renal Data System dialysis population. The 1790 patients had underlying primary diseases and multiple co-morbid conditions affecting many organ systems. Year by year mortality, hospital admissions and staffing were analyzed.


An analysis of data annually after the implementation of the electronic patient record system in the three centers showed a marked decrease in mortality, with rates of 37%, 37% and 35% less than that reported by the US Renal Data System. Clinical staffing was 25 percent lower per 100 patients than the national average, thereby lowering costs.

"Because dialysis is such a standardized treatment throughout the country, the difference we saw in outcomes in the Rogosin patients was very significant," said Victor Pollak, MD of the University of Colorado and MIQS, Inc. "This is clearly a case when patients' improved outcomes could be directly attributed to an electronic patient record."

The Rogosin Institute is a non-profit treatment and research institute affiliated with the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College. The Institute provides treatment for kidney disease, including dialysis and transplantation, cardiovascular disease related to cholesterol and lipid problems, cancer, diabetes and hypertension. It participates in research to improve the treatment and prevention of these conditions.

MIQS, Inc., of Boulder, CO, is the premier provider of medical record and financial software for dialysis. Founded in 1990, the company has developed and marketed a suite of software products used in the treatment of renal and other chronic diseases.

For further information, contact:

The Rogosin Institute

Susan Spiegel



George Rovegno, CEO, MIQS Inc.


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