Providing some proof, HealthPartners is advocating the health reform that electronic medical records can save health providers money. The Bloomington-based health provider and insurer says it’s saved $430,000 over the past year by including electronic X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and radiology reports in patients’ electronic health records. Savings included $130,000 that no longer had to be spent on transcribing radiologist reports, and $300,000 that was no longer needed for film storage costs. That doesn’t include the savings that came from reducing radiology report turnaround times from two days to about four hours. Additionally, HealthPartners plans to expand the system next year to its facilities in central Minnesota and Wisconsin. Also the records have been available to doctors at Regions, as well as HealthPartners’ 25 medical clinics around the Twin Cities.
HealthPartners performed the integration of the radiology records with the help of Milwaukee, Wis.-based Merge Healthcare. HealthPartners’ electronic health record software is from Verona, Wis.-based Epic Systems Corp. Such systems are being used by a growing number of health providers around the country for radiology records. St. Louis Park-based Park Nicollet Health Services, for example, has had a similar system in place at its hospital and clinics since 2005. Mayo Clinic also has a system in place at some of its locations.