SOURCE: Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline Industries, Inc.

October 25, 2011 13:57 ET

Medline Receives Premier Contract for ClearCount Surgical Safety Technology

Contract Includes SmartSponge® and SmartWand-DTX™ RFID Products

MUNDELEIN, IL--(Marketwire - Oct 25, 2011) - Medline Industries, Inc., the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies, announced today the signing of a three-year national agreement with Premier Purchasing Partners -- the group purchasing unit of the Premier healthcare alliance -- for surgical sponge detection systems, which includes ClearCount technology. The agreement, now in effect, ensures that Premier's 2,500 hospital member facilities and 77,000 other healthcare sites have contractual access to the most comprehensive technology available for the prevention of retained surgical sponge incidents.

"We're very pleased to have been chosen for this contract award based on our shared values of providing great patient care while reducing overall healthcare costs," said Jack Bowser, Jr., Medline's president, Primary Care Division. "ClearCount's innovative 'count and detect' RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology provides Premier members with an effective way to improve both patient safety and operating room efficiency."

The SmartSponge System uniquely identifies each sponge in an operating room so that they can be both easily counted and detected during surgery. To date this dual approach has made retained sponges a true "Never Event" in all operating rooms where ClearCount has been implemented and has made it the fastest growing technology solution in this space.

Despite designation as a "Never Event" by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), retained surgical items are estimated to occur in one of every 1,500 open abdominal/chest procedures, which can lead to hospital inefficiencies, unnecessary costs, serious infections, and even death. In 2010, retained surgical incidents became the leading Sentinel Event reported to the Joint Commission.

In one study using a retrospective review of medical malpractice claims data from a statewide insurer in Massachusetts, sponge counts had been falsely thought to be correct in 76 percent of non-vaginal surgical cases involving retained sponges. "Falsely correct" sponge counts were attributed to team fatigue, difficult or long operations, sponges sticking together, shift changes or procedures with a large number of sponges. In July 2010, new Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Recommended Practices for the Prevention of Retained Surgical Items highlighted that membership may consider use of adjunct technologies to enhance surgical count procedures in order to avoid retained incidents.

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About Premier Healthcare Alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Recipient
Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 77,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has an office in Washington.

About Medline Industries, Inc.
Medline, the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 125,000 products to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill, Medline has more than 1,100 dedicated sales representatives worldwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.

Over the past five years, Medline has been the fastest-growing distributor of medical and surgical supplies in the United States, serving as the primary distributor to more than 450 major hospitals and healthcare systems. As a leading distributor, Medline offers a comprehensive array of consulting and management services encompassing the supply chain and logistics, as well as clinical programs and education to improve patient outcomes.

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