MN health system saves by integrating imaging into EMR

HealthPartners, a Bloomington, MN-based integrated delivery network and health plan, says it has saved $430,000 in the past year by integrating digital X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and radiology reports into patient EMRs at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, and at 25 clinics in the Twin Cities area. That breaks down to $300,000 from no longer having to store film and $130,000 in reduced radiology transcription costs, but does not count savings from slashing turnaround times of radiology reports from two days to about four hours.

Milwaukee-based Merge Healthcare integrated the radiology records into the health systems' Epic Systems EMR, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports. The benefits should increase next year, as HealthPartners plans on introducing EMRs at Central Minnesota Clinic near St. Cloud and at Hudson Hospital & Clinics and Westfields Hospital in western Wisconsin.

For more information:
- read the Business Journal story
- have a look at the HealthPartners press release