Premier Announces Renewal Contracts for Technology to Better Protect Patients from HAIs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Premier Inc. healthcare alliance today announced five hospital renewal contracts for SafetySurveillor, its Web-based tool used by hospitals to detect and alert of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and protect patients by continuously tracking HAIs and antibiotic use.

Hospitals renewing their contracts with Premier include: Virtua Health, Inc., a four-hospital system based in Marlton, N.J., and a client since 2003; and University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority in Madison, Wis., a client since 2003.

With the ever-changing environment around HAIs, hospitals must increase their surveillance of infections, said Carol Ward, Infection Control program manager at Virtua Health. We are confident that Premier will continue to be at the forefront of these issues and that SafetySurveillor will address our needs to continue to protect our patients.

Currently, many hospitals do targeted manual surveillance of high-risk infection areas due to volumes of clinical data. With SafetySurveillor, hospitals have the ability to alert, detect and facilitate timely intervention to reduce and prevent infections and other patient harmful events.

SafetySurveillor can help hospitals in the battle against HAIs by:

-- Pinpointing infections clustered in an area of a hospital

-- Reducing the time spent on the tedious, manual aggregation and review of data, allowing the infection control professional to focus their energy on education and prevention efforts

-- Identifying patients for antibiotic intervention, insuring the patient is being treated with the appropriate antibiotic, enhancing patient care and reducing antibiotic costs

-- Automatically alerting staff of potential infections and outbreaks by e-mail and pager in real time

-- Providing analytic and reporting tools to support mandatory reporting, benchmarking and performance improvement initiatives.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced that an inpatient hospital care rule in fiscal year 2008 will reduce Medicare reimbursements by at least 1.2 percent, a total of $4 billion in FY 2008. The rule also includes provisions to ensure that Medicare no longer reimburses for the additional costs of some preventable healthcare-associated infections, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Currently, more than half of U.S. states have legislation under consideration to require hospitals to report infection rates.

With the upcoming Medicare reimbursement changes and expanded state reporting, hospitals will broaden their surveillance for infections, said Salah S. Qutaishat, PhD, CIC, FSHEA, epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control for Premier Healthcare Informatics. SafetySurveillor can track these infections, enabling hospital staff to flag infections that are brought into the hospital by patients, and differentiate them from those that are healthcare-associated.

SafetySurveillor helps hospitals meet state-mandated public reporting of HAIs, including screening of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile infections, two of the most common and harmful infections found in hospitals today.

Premier SafetySurveillor is integrated into the Premier Performance Suite, which includes benchmarking, reporting analysis and real-time surveillance of clinical, safety, financial, operational, labor productivity and supply data. The Premier Performance Suite is powered by Perspective, the largest integrated clinical, financial and operational comparative database in the nation, providing patient-level detail to identify opportunities for improvement in clinical quality and efficiency.

Source: Premier