Carper requests study on Patient Safety Program

The First State is embarking on becoming First in Nation to provide electronic access to medical records at point of care

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tom Carper is asking the federal General Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate the national economic impact of a hi-tech medical database that can be instantly accessed by doctors. Delaware is already in the process of serving as a model for the national implementation of such a database system, which has been devised by the non-profit Patient Safety Institute, based out of Plano, Texas. The PSI program requires patient consent and access to medical information is strictly limited to patients’ healthcare providers. Sen. Carper is asking the GAO to answer two questions:

  1. What is the economic value to the country of such a network, both nationally and per individual?
  2. Of the total potential economic savings, where would those savings accrue?

“At a time when healthcare costs are quickly rising and many Americans are unable to get health insurance, we need to find ways to make health care safer and more affordable,” said Sen. Carper. “PSI can help on both of these fronts.” “At least one private consulting firm estimated that PSI could save $40 billion a year in health care costs if implemented nationally,” Sen. Carper continued. “That is why I am asking the General Accounting Office to come up with an independent analysis of the financial benefits of PSI.” The goal of the system is to improve healthcare quality and safety, including but not limited to:

  • Eliminating many of the 770,000 injuries and deaths that result from medication errors and other adverse drug events in the United States each year;
  • Reducing the up-to-98,000 avoidable deaths caused by medical errors each year; and
  • Limiting the one and a half healthcare errors that the average patient in intensive care endures on a daily basis.

A full copy of Sen. Carper’s letter to GAO is attached to this news release as well as more information about the Patient Safety Institute. ( This document is in PDF format, download the PDF viewer at These require Adobe Acrobat reader. )

Senator Carper’s Letter to the GAO

Delaware to build statewide clinical data-sharing network, Modern Physician Magazine

Delaware to Protect Patients and Safeguard Against Bioterrorism Through Partnering Agreement with the Patient Safety Institute, Patient Safety Institute