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The Detroit Medical Center Pioneers New EMR System Preventing Medication Mistakes
Date:3/12/2009

DMC 100% Electronic Medication Verification Will Help Eliminate Errors Like The One That Nearly Killed Dennis Quaid's Babies

DETROIT, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a highly emotional appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday (March 10), Hollywood actor Dennis Quaid warned that "computerized record-keeping and bar coding in hospitals" could have prevented the medication error that nearly killed his infant twins in 2007. While calling for a paperless system of "medication verification" that could eliminate such dangerous medication mistakes in hospitals forever, Quaid told Winfrey: "That's going to save lives - a lot of lives!"

Quaid's stark description of the "medical nightmare" he endured after his twins were given 1,000 times too much of a blood-thinning drug at a Los Angeles hospital electrified the audience, which responded enthusiastically to his suggestion that hospitals should immediately implement electronic records in order to prevent medication tragedies caused by handwriting-linked mistakes.

At the Detroit Medical Center, the good news for patients is that the "paperless" electronic medical records system Dennis Quaid advocates has already been up and running. EMR and Medication verification scanning began in the first DMC hospitals and Emergency Departments April 2006, with all of its hospitals completing the project in May 2007.

The pioneering EMR breakthrough, in use throughout the DMC hospitals, requires that physician's orders, test results and other patient records be collected and processed online. The new technology reduces the risk of potentially dangerous medication errors by up to 90 percent, since it prohibits all handwriting in the prescribing and dispensing of drugs.

The new 100% Electronic Medication Verification for managing medications calls for repeated scanning of electronic barcodes by caregivers, with verified accuracy-
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SOURCE Detroit Medical Center
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