April 12, 2010 10:23 ET

Deaconess Health System Renews Commitment to VHA

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - April 12, 2010) -  Deaconess Health System, Evansville, Ind., has renewed its relationship with VHA Inc., the national health care network. Deaconess, a founding member of VHA and one of the largest health care providers in southern Indiana, reviewed its relationship with VHA as part of the health system's ongoing quest to reduce its operating expenses and access new ways to improve clinical care. 

"We've been very satisfied with the depth and breadth of support VHA has provided our organization through the years," said Linda White, president and chief executive officer of the nearly 700-bed system. "The health system has achieved $5.5 million in supply savings in the last year as a result of Deaconess' own internal Value Analysis initiative and by taking advantage of quantity pricing discounts through Novation. VHA's expertise in supply chain management, especially in targeting high-cost medical devices, will continue to help us meet our financial objectives."

In addition to leveraging VHA's supply chain management services, White says the health system will continue to tap into VHA's clinical improvement resources and regional and national networks that link Deaconess to thought leaders and ideas that drive performance improvement. Over the past three years, Deaconess has used VHA's Leading Practices Blueprints™ to improve clinical performance in areas like pressure ulcers, sepsis and ventilator associated pneumonia. Deaconess also has shared its best practices with other VHA members through a blueprint designed to help hospitals take better care of premature and low birth weight babies. 

"VHA provides concrete value to our organization," said Bruce Epmeier, vice president of facilities and support services at Deaconess, which purchased $77 million in supplies, equipment and services through VHA in 2009. "However, the organization has realized extensive benefits at all levels. Our employees link with VHA to find answers and resources to deliver better care to our patients. It's a successful relationship."

"VHA helps hospitals drive efficiency and collaborate to accelerate performance improvement," said Patti Sweeney, senior vice president of VHA's regional office in Indianapolis, which covers more than 50 hospitals in Indiana and Ohio and parts of Kentucky and Michigan. "If our nation is going to improve health care, hospitals have to focus on these dual imperatives, and VHA directs its resources to support that work."

About VHA
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Formed in 1977, through its 16 regional offices, VHA serves more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 28,000 non-acute care providers nationwide. VHA was ranked by Modern Healthcare as the 7th best place to work in health care in 2009.

About Deaconess

Deaconess Health System is a premier provider of health care services in southwestern Indiana, western Kentucky and southeastern Illinois. The system includes six hospitals, located in southern Indiana: Deaconess Hospital, an acute care facility; The Women's Hospital, serving the needs of women and infants; Deaconess Gateway Hospital, an acute care facility; Deaconess Cross Pointe, a behavioral health hospital; The Heart Hospital at Deaconess Gateway, focusing solely on providing leading-edge inpatient and outpatient heart care services; and HealthSouth Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital, specializing in comprehensive medical rehabilitation. Also included in the system are a freestanding cancer center, a health system and physician owned managed care network of preferred hospitals and doctors, two ambulatory surgery centers, 18 ambulatory care sites, two urgent care facilities and multiple partnerships with other health care providers.

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