A Medical Device Daily

Strategic Healthcare Group (Indianapolis), a provider of blood management products and services, reported an agreement with the American Red Cross (Washington) to provide blood management consultation at two client hospitals.

"The Strategic Blood Management system will help the hospitals we serve to manage their blood more wisely. As more of our client hospitals recognize the value of blood management programs, Strategic Healthcare Group has the potential of becoming an important partner in our ongoing efforts to promote appropriate blood use," said Scott Buker, director of national accounts, Biomedical Services, American Red Cross.

Escalating blood costs and intermittent blood shortages are encouraging blood centers and hospitals to find more efficient ways to manage the value chain for blood products, the company said. It noted that the Strategic Blood Management system helps hospitals improve blood utilization and reduce costs through its three core services: blood management audit and benchmarking; blood management program development and support; and the Blood eManagement web-based training system.

"The time has come for the focus on blood safety and availability to shift from blood centers to hospitals through better blood utilization. Blood management is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary process that promotes the safe and optimal use of blood components within the hospital," said Tim Hannon, MD, CEO of Strategic Healthcare Group.

According to Richard Benjamin, MD, chief medical officer of the American Red Cross Biomedical Services, evidence-based utilization of blood products is essential to the organization's mission as a steward of the nation's blood supply.

"The American Red Cross strongly supports efforts to foster the appropriate use of blood products. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Hannon and his team to successfully achieve this goal," Benjamin said.

According to Strategic Healthcare Group, hospitals using the Strategic Blood Management system have reported reductions in blood utilization from 14% to 37% with cumulative cost savings in excess of $45 million through the reduction in unnecessary transfusions while improving patient care and increasing patient safety.

In other agreement news:

• Cordis (Warren, New Jersey) and ClearStream Technologies Group (Wexford, Ireland) reported the signing of a definitive distribution agreement for Cordis to market ClearStream's most advanced percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) balloon catheters under the brand names Sleek and Savvy Long PTA Balloon Dilation Catheters. The Sleek and Savvy Long peripheral balloons will be marketed by the Cordis Endovascular division of Cordis. The companies expect the products will be commercially available in countries outside the U.S. starting in 2Q07.

The Sleek and Savvy long balloons will feature lengths up to 120 mm for treating long diffuse disease, and a lubricious coating for increased crossability in tight lesions. The Sleek Balloon will be the first and only .014" guidewire compatible rapid-exchange balloon fully dedicated to infrapopliteal vessels, while the Savvy Long Balloon will provide an .018" guidewire compatible over-the-wire alternative for both superficial femoral and infrapopliteal arteries.

Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) company, develops interventional vascular technology.

ClearStream makes devices used in interventional procedures, including catheters and stents.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) reported that new agreements for auditory screening and diagnostic products have been awarded to Bio-logic Systems (Mundelein, Illinois), Natus Medical (San Carlos, California), and Viasys NeuroCare Group (Madison, Wisconsin).

These new 36-month agreements are effective May 1, 2007 and offer discounted pricing for auditory products to acute care and continuum of care members of the Premier alliance.

Serving 1,700 hospitals and more than 45,000 other healthcare sites, Premier is owned by not-for-profit hospitals.