CareFusion and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois announced that 23 hospitals have formed the Illinois Hospital Quality Initiative (IHQI), a partnership created to improve clinical outcomes and cut health care costs by reducing health care-associated infections and medication errors. CareFusion (NYSE: CFN) is a global, medical device company that specializes in patient safety technologies.
Each year, nearly one in 20 patients acquires an infection in U.S. hospitals and almost 100,000 people die as a result. Such infections cost U.S. hospitals some $35 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC estimates that up to $31.5 billion of costs could be prevented through the deployment of specific prevention methods and technology.
In addition to the Illinois effort, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its client hospitals partner with MedMined™ services of CareFusion in six other statewide hospital quality initiatives Alabama, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas that encompass more than 150 hospitals. Some statewide partnerships have realized up to a 19 percent reduction in health care-associated infections, leading to millions of health care dollars saved and thousands of lives protected.
“The IHQI partnership addresses both the human and economic impact of health care-associated infections and enhances our commitment as a community hospital to provide a safe environment for our patients,” said Sister Donna Marie, C.R., executive vice president and CEO of Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. “In today’s environment, the prevention and management of infection is one of the most important factors we deal with in order to provide a safe healing environment for patients. MedMined services enable us to transition from traditional, targeted surveillance to house-wide, electronic surveillance and to rapidly identify any emergence of trends and enables us to have a proactive approach to infection prevention.”
“Our partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield continues to expand, helping hospitals protect literally thousands of patients from the devastating effects of health care-associated infections and potential medication errors,” said David Schlotterbeck, chairman and CEO of CareFusion. “Through this new partnership, Illinois-based hospitals will now work together to find and deploy the most effective methods to prevent infections. Beyond the vital effort to enhance patient safety, the hospitals also should benefit from a reduction in operating costs and improved data reporting to meet regulatory requirements.”
These initiatives use MedMined services infection surveillance technology from CareFusion to monitor the entire hospital and alert clinicians to any emerging issues to target improvement efforts before infections occur. Using data mining tools similar to those used by credit card companies to monitor unauthorized purchases, this patented technology automatically identifies patterns indicative of specific and correctable quality breakdowns to prevent and treat infections.
Nationally, more than 300 hospitals depend on MedMined services to help them detect, monitor, prevent and measure infection outcomes, making it the market leader in such surveillance technology. On average, hospitals using MedMined services data mining technology have cut infection rates by about 13 percent during the first year of the technology’s deployment.