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

numbers on bedsores and length of stays show how computer-based recordkeeping helps caregivers to take better care of patients day in and day out."

The hospital cost-savings are especially significant, said DMC caregivers, because the soaring cost of healthcare in this country each year (more than $2.5 trillion) is now equal to 17.3 percent of the nation's entire Gross Domestic Product.

In spite of the savings to be had from hospital-based EMR, however, recent studies show that the majority of U.S. hospitals have either failed to implement top-to-bottom EMR systems – or are cutting back on information technology (IT) programs already in place.

As of August 2010, fewer than four percent of U.S. hospitals had implemented the level of system-wide electronic patient recordkeeping that is now in place at the DMC.  In addition, a recent study at the University of Michigan School of Medicine showed that more than one-fourth of the nation's recession-affected hospitals have been cutting back on their already existing IT programs.  

The cash-strapped hospitals were slashing IT budgets, reported the study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, in spite of the fact that the Obama administration has recently made available more than $2.73 billion in Medicare/Medicaid bonuses for clinicians and hospitals that spend to improve their electronic medical records systems.

"Installing and upgrading effective EMR systems makes very good sense for both hospitals and their patients today," said Michael Duggan, President and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center.  "The data contained in our new Patient Care Services study show clearly that EMR can lower hospital costs significantly, even as they greatly improve the quality of care.

"The DMC has spent $50 million on building a powerful EMR system over the past five or six years, and we did it because we like to think of ourselves as the 'hospital of the future' – as a s
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SOURCE Detroit Medical Center
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