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Electronic Recordkeeping Boosts Patient Safety, Saves DMC More Than $5 Million - For Second Straight Year
Date:8/30/2010

DETROIT, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) achieved significant improvements in patient safety and quality of care, while also saving more than $5 million in costs last year, thanks to efficiencies created by its system-wide Electronic Medical Record (EMR).  This system manages nearly all of the DMC's patient health information via new computer-based technology.

For the eight hospitals in the DMC system, it was the second year in a row in which computer-based healthcare information processing created major improvements in quality of care and cost-savings.

The windfall in savings – triggered by highly effective electronic monitoring of such crucially important hospital tasks as treating pressure ulcers and preventing medication errors – was clear evidence that the DMC's EMR system is providing a healthy return on investment, according to DMC officials.

DMC caregivers said they were greatly encouraged by the striking cost-savings from EMR.  The $50 million system has gone online throughout the DMC in gradual stages over a 12-year period, starting in 1998.  

"The latest numbers are in, and we continue to see great strides in improving quality, treating patients more quickly and preventing error, which translates to dollar savings as well.  This work with these results is very exciting," said DMC Chief Nursing Officer Patricia Natale, RN, after reviewing the results of a system-wide study showing the impact of EMR on both costs and patient care.  

"The savings are only part of the story," she added, "because EMR is also a major step forward on the road to better quality of patient care. Thanks to EMR, we're now seeing a dramatic reduction in the length of hospital stays due to pressure sores, along with a dramatic reduction of drug errors through EMR-enabled medication scanning.

"EMR isn't just about saving money; it's also about improving the quality of c
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SOURCE Detroit Medical Center
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