A Medical Device Daily

Cardiac Science (Irvine, California), a manufacturer of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), has been awarded a contract from Novation (Irving, Texas), the supply company of VHA (also Irving) and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC; Oak Brook, Illinois), covering Cardiac Science's Powerheart Cardiac Rhythm Module (CRM) a fully automatic therapeutic bedside monitor-defibrillator designed for medically supervised environments such as hospitals, outpatient medical clinics and physicians' offices.

The contract, which was established under Novation's new-technology program, offers access to that product to 2,300 VHA and UHC acute and non-acute healthcare facilities located throughout the U.S.

The Powerheart CRM is the only FDA-cleared therapeutic bedside defibrillator-monitor on the market that is designed to be prophylactically attached to at-risk cardiac patients, continuously monitor their heart rhythms and when clinically appropriate, automatically and instantly provide lifesaving defibrillation therapy without the need to wait for intervention by a nurse or physician, the company said.

Venetec International (San Diego), maker of StatLock safety securement devices for catheters and other medical applications, said that it has signed a sole-source agreement to supply Adventist Health System (Winter Park, Florida) with catheter securement devices in IV start kits for peripheral IVs.

The agreement is one of the largest signed between Venetec and a healthcare system, the company said. Adventist Health System has committed to purchase StatLock IV Ultra and StatLock IV Select product line devices to help achieve the hospital system's protocol of a 96-hour dwell period for peripheral IV catheters.

Adventist Health System has 38 hospitals in 10 states covering more than 6,200 beds. The health system is the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare organization in the country, and one of the 10 largest integrated delivery networks.

Implementation of the new agreement between Venetec International and Adventist Health System will begin with the seven hospital facilities of Florida Hospital in the Orlando area, representing 1,776 beds.

Phase Forward (Waltham, Massachusetts), a provider of data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety, said that the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI; Boston), on behalf of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), has entered into a multi-year agreement to license the company's InForm electronic data collection (EDC) solution.

The DFCI is standardizing on the InForm solution for all DF/HCC investigator-initiated clinical studies across its clinical research platform for the member institutions of DF/HCC and 20 network affiliates that do clinical research in oncology to improve the efficiency and quality of clinical trial data collection and management.

Dana-Farber said it expects the InForm solution to help it reduce clinical trial cycle times, allowing it to improve access to data by the study teams and eventually populate the CRFs with the hospital's clinical systems data – furthering its impact on the research and treatments of cancers.

"At present, we have approximately 35,000 paper CRFs being generated yearly, and query management is handled by e-mail and faxes. Visibility into data is slow; investigators have to initiate requests for clinical reports weeks before they are needed. With new studies continually being initiated within the Institute, it was imperative that we increase the efficiency of our clinical trials process," said Marina Nillni, corporate team leader, clinical trials information systems, at Dana-Farber.

Pathlore Software (Columbus, Ohio) reported that the Cleveland Clinic Health System-East Region (CCHS-East; Cleveland), which consists of Euclid, Hillcrest, Huron and South Pointe Hospitals, has deployed the software maker's enterprise learning-management solution.

For CCHS-East's employees and physicians, the Pathlore system is expected to streamline several processes for the delivery of self-directed instruction.

The Pathlore solution also will create opportunities for online education and blended learning – a mix of computer-based and classroom training.

Along with creating a blended learning solution to train clinical practitioners on the use of an electronic medical records system, CCHS-East has used the Pathlore solution to reduce the amount of paper-based testing.

Pathlore provides learning management software and services to industry and government.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation (Eagan, Minnesota) has announced $199,933 in grants to 22 nonprofit healthcare delivery organizations to strengthen the healthcare system in rural Minnesota. The grants represent the second and final year of the foundation's "New Times, New Tools" small grants initiative. In 2003, the foundation made $200,000 in grants under this initiative.

"The economy continues to press health organizations stretched for resources, especially in Minnesota, where the health infrastructure is already thin. 'New Times, New Tools' grants help nonprofit healthcare delivery organizations creatively meet the needs of their communities in challenging times, and emerge with increased capacity to serve their communities in the future," said Daniel Johnson, Blue Cross Foundation executive director.

This year's "New Times, New Tools" grantees include hospitals, emergency medical services, community mental health centers, community clinics, hospice programs, parish nurse programs and other community-wide health programs.