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Alabama Hospitals Compare Infection Prevention Performance Statewide With New Benchmarking Tool

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 General News J E 4
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DUBLIN, Ohio, April 29 Cardinal Health, a globalprovider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity ofhealth care, today announced a new benchmarking tool from MedMined(TM)services that allows hospitals to compare risk-adjusted infection rates ineach unit of a hospital to peer units in similar hospitals to help identifybest practices and areas for improvement.

The MedMined(TM) benchmarking tool graphs the incidence of health careassociated infections (HAIs) in all of the units in a hospital to visuallypresent the current infection rate compared to its peers. The tool alsoindicates whether the infection rate in each unit is improving or not, makingit easy for hospitals to identify areas of success and opportunities forimprovement.

This approach enables hospitals to compare their incidence of HAIs withother hospitals that are clinically risk adjusted to be in the same peercategory. Peer comparisons are made using multiple factors including the sizeand type of the unit and the hospital, as well as the severity of illness ofpatients in each unit. In addition to monitoring and comparing each unitseparately, all units may be combined to compare the entire hospital to itspeer group.

"Hospitals are finding value in the ability to compare their results withtheir peers," said J. Michael Horsley, president of the Alabama HospitalAssociation. "When hospitals know which area needs the most focus and whichhospitals perform best for that type of unit, we can open a dialogue forimprovement that raises performance across all hospitals."

Infection rates are determined hospital-wide using the MedMined(TM)nosocomial infection marker (NIM), an objective, electronic measure of theincidence of HAIs. Because infection incidence is measured consistently withthe NIM, comparisons among hospitals are a meaningful way to identify bestpractices and focus resources where they have the highest likelihood ofreducing HAIs.

"Knowing that East Alabama Medical Center is among the best in the statefor infection prevention performance validates the effort we have put behindpatient safety initiatives that have reduced infections across our hospital,"said Benja Morgan, infection control and employee health manager of EastAlabama Medical Center. "But the real benefit from the benchmarking tool is inknowing how other hospitals perform and sharing knowledge and best practicesto ensure continued improvement."

MedMined(TM) services launched the benchmarking tool in February as anadditional feature for 46 hospitals in Alabama. The new tool will be discussedin detail at the Alabama Quality Forum, being held today in Birmingham, Ala.in conjunction with the Alabama Hospital Quality Initiative (AHQI) bestpractice meeting. AHQI is a partnership between MedMined(TM) services, BlueCross and Blue Shield of Alabama and the Alabama Hospital Association. Membersof the Alabama Hospital Association's Quality Task Force as well as InfectionControl Professionals from Alabama's Association for Professionals inInfection Control (APIC) group worked for more than a year with MedMined(TM)services to provide input into the design of the benchmarking system.

The benchmarking capability will be rolled out to hospitals across thecountry that use MedMined(TM) services in a phased approach starting in May,and will become part of the standard package at no additional fee.

"Understanding a true hospital-wide view of HAIs is the first step toimproving infection prevention," said Patrick Hymel, M.D., vice president andgeneral manager of Cardinal Health's MedMined(TM) services. "The MedMined(TM)benchmarking tool is a big step forward in allowing best practices ininfection prevention to be accurately identified and rapidly shared among acommunity of hospitals."

In this first-of-its-kind effort to encourage transparency and facilitatebest practic
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