ALARIS Medical Systems and the National Patient Safety Foundation Establish Five-Year Nursing Fellowship Program


BOSTON -- ALARIS Medical Systems, Inc., developer of products for the safe delivery of intravenous (IV) medications, and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving patient safety, announced today the creation of a five-year fellowship to be funded by ALARIS Medical Systems in memory of Irene Hatcher, RN, MSN, who died last November after a distinguished nursing career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"We are pleased that ALARIS Medical Systems has chosen to honor Irene Hatcher's legacy through the Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship," said Diane Pinakiewicz, executive director of the National Patient Safety Foundation. "We are especially pleased to announce this fellowship during National Nurse Recognition Week as a fitting tribute to one of nursing's own dedicated professionals."

Health Forum-AHA and The National Patient Safety Foundation, in partnership with the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management, and the Health Research & Educational Trust, are pleased to offer this Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship Program. This fellowship is a year-long intensive learning experience that will develop leadership competencies and advance patient safety science in health care through a dynamic, highly participatory, and structured learning community. Fellows are exposed to a broad array of tools, strategies and methodologies in the field of patient safety.

The Fellowship honors Irene Hatcher's devotion to medication safety. Hatcher understood that 61 percent of the most serious and life-threatening potential adverse drug events (ADEs) are IV drug related. She recognized that nurses work at the front-line, where high-risk medications are delivered directly into the patient's vein, and thus, where the most risk of harm from medication errors occurs. Hatcher continually stressed the point that a nurse never wants to make a mistake and that no one enters nursing to harm people. ALARIS Medical Systems benefited from Hatcher's expertise in the development of the smart IV medication safety systems, which today are helping to improve the safety of high-risk medications in more than 100 institutions throughout the United States The fellowship will be awarded to registered nurses (RN) for their dedication to IV medication safety.

"Irene Hatcher's dedication to patient well being has dramatically improved the safety of high-risk medications. Her time and energy devoted to helping develop the ALARISr MedleyT Medication Safety System will benefit

millions," said Dave Schlotterbeck, president and CEO of ALARIS Medical Systems. "We are pleased to partner with NPSF in providing the fellowship recipients with worthwhile experience that will help expand the research around patient and medication safety," Schlotterbeck continued.

The MedleyT System with the Guardrailsr Safety Software is designed to help prevent harm from infusion administration errors at the critical point of care to protect the health and safety of the patient receiving the IV medications. The Guardrailsr Software provides a "test of reasonableness" before the nurse begins the infusion and incorporates a continuous quality improvement (CQI) data collection application that can assist with analyzing practice patterns, creating policies for best practices and protecting patients and institutions from practices outside the recommended parameters.

The first recipient of the fellowship in memory of Irene Hatcher will be presented this week during the Sixth Annual NPSF Congress held in Boston, May 3-7, 2004. The presentation also coincides with the National Nurses Week, celebrated annually May 6-12, 2004 throughout the United States by 2.7 million registered nurses who, like Hatcher, dedicate their career to saving lives and maintaining the health of millions of patients.

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving patient safety and reducing medical errors by funding research and raising awareness with hospitals, healthcare systems, doctors, and nurses and the patients and families they serve. Having worked for seven years to make patient safety a national priority, the NPSF is working with the healthcare industry to find affordable ways through research and education to reduce medical errors and to improve the quality of the nation's healthcare. The NPSF was founded in 1996 and incorporated in 1997 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, and 3M, with significant support from the Schering-Plough Corporation. For more information, visit

Source: ALARIS Medical Systems Inc.

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