Symposium addresses P4P

CareScience (Philadelphia), a division of Quovadx (Greenwood Village, Colorado), a provider of care management, clinical analysis and clinical quality improvement solutions, will host clinical and executive experts from healthcare organizations from across the country at its 2006 Spring Symposium, titled “Public Reporting & Pay-for-Performance: Strategies for Success.“ The event will be held on May 22 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix.

The symposium is designed to provide a forum for certain of the nation's healthcare executives, physician leaders and quality improvement practitioners to discuss developments in public reporting and pay-for-performance and how these initiatives will impact their organizations.

“As the industry begins to implement more stringent public reporting requirements and healthcare payers embark on pay-for-performance programs, hospitals and health systems will need to analyze and adapt their clinical and administrative processes accordingly to achieve efficiencies, manage resources and stay focused on quality of care,“ said Thomas Zajac, president of CareScience and executive vice president for Quovadx.

Among the topics to be covered are: the impact of proposed CMS requirements on hospitals and how to best prepare and staff for the increased demands and how to adapt objectives of public reporting and pay-for-performance incentives to continue to support quality improvement and patient safety programs.

Lifebank plans placental stem cell service

LifebankUSA (Cedar Knolls, New Jersey), a subsidiary of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics (CCT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene (Summit, New Jersey), reported plans for a new service to bank stem cells derived from the placenta.

Placental-derived stem cells (PDSCs), which have different characteristics from those isolated from cord blood, appear to be “highly versatile“ and have the “potential to repair damaged or diseased tissue,“ the company said. In the laboratory, CCT scientists have successfully developed nerve cells, heart cells, cartilage cells, bone cells and other highly specialized cells from pluripotent stem cells derived from the placenta, the company said.

The new Placental-Derived Stem Cell Storage Service began April 24.

CDC-funded study shows paramedics at risk

Constella Group (Durham, North Carolina), a global provider of professional health services, reported the results from a study it conducted on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The study identifies areas in which employers and public health agencies can help protect paramedics from blood exposures that put them at higher risk of contracting blood-borne viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The study estimates the national incidence rates of on-the-job blood exposures in paramedics, and the routes by which they are exposed.

Constella conducted the study through a mail survey it sent to certified paramedics throughout the U.S. The survey focused on the number of times over a one-year period that paramedics are exposed to patient blood and the means through which they are exposed, including accidental needlestick, contact with “non-intact skin“ (i.e. cuts, lesions), contact with mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, nose, and mouth), patient bites, or through cuts from other sharp objects containing patient blood, such as broken glass.

According to Jack Leiss, chief epidemiologist at Constella, who led the study, the research resulted in two major findings. Leiss said that more than 20% of paramedics are exposed to patient blood at least once over the course of a year.

“Second, just as many of those exposures occur through contact with mucous membranes as through needlesticks,“ Leiss said. “While the primary focus of research and prevention efforts has been on needlesticks, our study indicates that exposures to the eyes, nose and mouth may be equally important.“