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

are we provide for patients, and that's our primary mission."        

Other key leaders at the DMC were equally enthusiastic about the upgrades in quality care that are now flowing from "leveraging" the EMR.  "The latest surveys show that EMR has helped to reduce medication errors by up to 75 percent," said DMC Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Leland Babitch.  "Obviously, that's a major gain for patients – especially given the fact that medication errors account for the majority of accidental deaths and injuries at U.S. hospitals."

The U.S. Institute of Medicine has estimated that up to 100,000 patients die as a result of hospital errors annually.

The impact of EMR on treatment of pressure ulcers was especially noticeable, said DMC quality-of-care administrators.  They noted that the chronic sores often require extended hospital stays and thus drive up costs.  But the most recent DMC Patient Care Services study of severe pressure ulcer cases showed that close EMR monitoring of bedsores reduced the average length of stay required to treat them by nearly three full days last year . . . compared to the average length of ulcer-triggered stays before EMR monitoring of the problem began in 2008.

The DMC study concluded that the reduction in the length of pressure ulcer-related hospital stays – in a system that admits more than 75,000 patients each year – was now helping to generate more than $4.5 million in yearly cost savings.  

"The data on Electronic Medical Records and patient safety and quality of care are clear and convincing by now," said DMC Vice President for Quality and Safety Michelle Schreiber, M.D.  "Those data demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that EMR is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to protecting patients from hospital errors.

"But EMR is also proving to be an effective method for promoting quality of care – and the new
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SOURCE Detroit Medical Center
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