A Medical Device Daily

Hoana Medical (Honolulu) reported new partnerships with a large healthcare system in Pennsylvania, the Veterans Administration (VA) with VA hospitals in Florida and Nebraska, and the U.S. Army to improve patient safety in acute-care hospitals.

Hospital experience has shown that rapid response teams (RRT) are not effective if the patient is found too late many times patients are found deceased. Hoana's LifeBed Patient Vigilance System identifies patients as they begin to deteriorate and immediately notifies the hospital nursing staff with no visible connection to the patient whatsoever.

The LifeBed has experience on more than 15,000 acute-care medical-surgical patients around the country and has shown that errors and accidents don't discriminate between social or economic classes; it can happen to anybody, anywhere.

This partnership, referred to as PIMA (for Personal Intelligent Medical Assistant), will examine how finding a patient in distress early reduces the risk of negative outcomes, injury or death, and reduces the cost to the hospital. Although the VA recently awarded Hoana a federal supply contract to outfit VA hospital beds at $16.20/day/bed, this program is funded with $1.7 million from the U.S. Army Medical Research Command and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.

"This partnership is a tremendous testament to the growing awareness of patient safety and the remarkable commitment of these visionary partners to make a difference," said Patrick Sullivan, PhD, CEO of Hoana Medical.

In other grants/contracts news:

• Conmed Healthcare Management (Hanover, Maryland), a provider of correctional facility healthcare services, said it has signed an initial contract with Pima County, Arizona, to immediately establish and implement, in coordination with the county and its existing vendor, a transition plan designed to effectuate a seamless transition of medical, dental and behavioral health services at the Pima County Adult Detention Center from the existing vendor to Conmed by August 1, 2008.

The transitional contract is valued at about $220,000.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (Baton Rouge) reported its intent to award HMS (New York) a contract to continue providing third party liability recovery and cost avoidance services to the state's Medicaid program. This statement of intent is the result of HMS having achieved the highest score in a competitive procurement process for the three-year contract.

During its most recent contract with the state, HMS recovered more than $36 million for the department.

A contract signed with Blue Cross Blue Shield, effective July 1, 2008, makes Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance Services (Scottsdale, Arizona) a preferred transportation services provider to BCBS members nationwide.

• Howard County General Hospital (HCGH; Columbia, Maryland) recently installed MDA TransQuest from MDA Technologies (Woodbridge, Virginia), which the company calls the first real-time wireless patient transport dispatch system.

MDA said PDA-based transport solutions are very new to the healthcare industry, and MDA TransQuest is a proof-of-concept product. MDA TransQuest optimizes patient flow by dispatching, managing and tracking patient transportation within hospitals.

Jim Walker, CEO and chairman of Octagon Research Solutions (Wayne, Pennsylvania), a provider of software and services to the life science industry, said it has contracted with its 100th StartingPoint client. StartingPoint is Octagon's suite of global submission document authoring templates.

The milestone illustrates the success of the product as a foundation for electronic Common Technical Document submission authoring, according to the company. Sales in 2008 represent a 22% increase over the previous year. The company attributes that to an increase to the accelerated interest in implementing the eCTD submission format, which is based on FDA's and other regulatory authorities' willingness to accept electronic submissions in this format.

• Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, California) was awarded a computed tomography (CT) contract by Broadlane's (Dallas) clients. Toshiba has won this contract two years in a row for the same modality from Broadlane, a supply chain services company.

"Technology is the first and most heavily weighted criteria in Broadlane's decision-making process, and these commitments are a strong indication of our position as a technology leader and our high customer satisfaction ratings," said Doug Larm, vice president, Enterprise Business Group, Toshiba. "The selection of Toshiba's CT system for Broadlane's recent CT contract is a testament to our commitment to image quality, low radiation dose and flexibility in meeting all our customer's needs."

• Amerinet (St. Louis) reported a new program available to healthcare providers to reduce costs and improve quality. Amerinet Prestige is open to all Amerinet members regardless of volume or facility type. Some benefits of the Prestige include a more efficient sign-up process, open access with no requirements to combine agreements across categories, increased overall value and several pathways to savings, including high committed tiers and contracts. Amerinet Prestige currently includes these five agreements: Cardinal Health, Fukuda Denshi, Philips, Sage Products, and Westmed.

Amerinet is a healthcare group purchasing organization.