A Medical Device Daily

Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS; Charlotte, North Carolina), the third-largest public healthcare system in the U.S., has taken steps to further improve patient care while safely reducing the cost of care by becoming a member of the Premier (San Diego) healthcare alliance.

CHS and Premier have an existing clinical improvement relationship through the Premier Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID) pay-for-performance project.

Some 250 hospitals across 36 states are participating in the demonstration, including the CHS-affiliated Cleveland Regional Medical Center, one of the project's top performers.

"We have experienced first-hand that Premier has a proven track record in clinical improvement programs to address patient safety and quality," said Michael Tarwater, CEO of CHS. "By partnering with Premier, CHS will have immediate access to programs that can be of benefit to the community."

He added, "It was particularly advantageous to partner with a company that has a large physical presence and readily available resources, including a strong pool of staff experts, in Charlotte. We welcome the opportunity to expand this relationship to include Premier's group purchasing services."

Premier also reported that new agreements for liquid medical waste management systems have been awarded to DeRoyal Industries (Powell, Tennessee) and Stryker (Kalamazoo, Michigan).

Effective Nov. 1, the 36-month agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

In other agreements and contracts news, Nikon Instruments (Melville, New York) has appointed Laboratory Supply Co. (LABSCO; Louisville, Kentucky) as its clinical laboratory dealer in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio and West Virginia. LABSCO will sell Nikon's i-Series Laboratory Microscopes and DS Series Digital Cameras to the healthcare market in these states.

"Nikon Instruments is excited to offer customers superior service from LABSCO," said Lee Shuett, executive VP, Nikon Instruments. "LABSCO is known for its expertise in the clinical laboratory, and the selection was made based on LABSCO's experience and infrastructure to provide excellent customer service to Nikon's loyal customer base."