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Joan Trombetti, Writer | December 09, 2008
MERS International
GE Healthcare and MERS (Medical Event Reporting System) International are joining to help hospitals improve patient safety.

Barbara Rabin Fastman, an early collaborator in the development of MERS at InCHOIR, Columbia University, observes that MERS, which employs web-based event reporting, is superior to systems that are paper-based or use simple spreadsheets.

Using such data, GE Healthcare can call upon its ability to drive process improvements that help to reduce the incidence of events and improve outcomes for patients. GE specialists can apply a toolkit of Lean, Six Sigma™, and its own Change Acceleration Process™ and Work-Out™ facilitation tools to help staff achieve measurable and lasting process and culture changes.

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MERS users include large urban academic medical centers, community hospitals, pediatric and psychiatric facilities, as well as ambulatory clinics. Features of MERS include a proprietary taxonomy for cataloguing events; built-in reporting capability for MedWatch FDA, and state reports; online causal tree building analysis using World Health Organization causal codes, and a HAWK™ system for identifying similar events in the database. It provides a central database of reports for process improvement and solution sharing across facilities.


MERS International, with headquarters in the Netherlands and a New York-based U.S. subsidiary, is dedicated to improving patient care through innovative, information-based patient-safety solutions. MERS International is the exclusive licensee of a robust and proven medical event reporting system (MERS) developed at InCHOIR, Columbia University with support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). MERS has been installed at more than 30 ambulatory clinics and acute care hospitals to-date. Through the systemic collection, investigation, classification, interpretation and monitoring of information about near miss and actual events occurring anywhere in a hospital or healthcare facility, MERS empowers healthcare professionals and organizations to improve patient safety and quality of care.