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Cardinal Health First to Integrate Medication Management Solutions for Hospitals

DALLAS, HIMSS, Feb 14, 2005 – Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH), the leading provider of products and services supporting the health care industry, today announced it will be the first company to provide hospitals with an integrated, end-to-end medication management system, linking all key clinical medication functions including prescription, transcription, dispensing, distribution, administration, monitoring and surveillance. 

By combining the capabilities of Alaris® Products, Pyxis® Products, Pharmacy Management, MediQual® Products and Clinical Services and Consulting, Cardinal Health will help hospitals lower costs while improving workflow, productivity and patient safety.

"During the last six months, we have brought together all Cardinal Health businesses related to medication management under one organization," said Dave Schlotterbeck, chairman and chief executive officer of the Clinical Technologies and Services segment of Cardinal Health. "We are focused on finding the best ways to build synergies between our various products and services and to link them to address the most critical needs of hospitals today. Our new end-to-end medication management solution is a direct result of that effort."

"Our primary interest is to help hospitals improve patient outcomes. We will support their goals with integrated and innovative products and services, and technology that is compatible with our partners' products, as well as with the other technology choices that hospitals have made," Schlotterbeck added.

Adverse drug events (ADEs) are the most common cause of patient injury in hospitals and one of the critical problems addressed by this new solution. Sixty-one percent of the most serious and life-threatening adverse events are IV drug related. The Alaris® System with the Guardrails® Suite of safety software has demonstrated measurable improvements in patient safety and clinical performance in managing IV medications at the point of care. The system is the first of its kind to offer an integrated modular platform that has the ability to include infusion therapy and patient monitoring for enhanced patient safety at the bedside.

This point-of-care safety system is further enhanced by wireless connectivity to the Cardinal Health Alaris® Server. This connectivity promotes continuous quality improvement of IV medication practices by providing data from real-time use, which the hospital can use to update their IV medication best practices. The system vision includes connectivity into the hospital's information network through the Alaris® Gateway.

"Sharp purchased IV medication safety systems as a key component of the safety strategy," said Nancy Pratt, MSN, senior vice president, Clinical Effectiveness, Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. "Wireless data transfer was added to optimize the use of the IV medication safety systems and to maximize the safety benefit. The use of IV medication safety systems and wireless network connection are part of an organizational transformation to make Sharp HealthCare the best place to work, the best place to practice medicine and the best place to receive care."

Connecting nursing to pharmacy is also critical in decreasing time to first dose and reducing preventable ADEs. The Pyxis MedStation® automated medication dispensing system, a key component of the recently released Pyxis® MedSystem, has demonstrated a 68 percent decrease in ADEs. The Pyxis® MedSystem medication management products and consulting services enable hospitals to streamline communication and workflow between nursing and pharmacy, further reducing medication errors and better managing costs.

"Pyxis® MedSystem has helped St. John Medical Center streamline its operations, while strengthening the connectivity between nurses and pharmacists," said Robert Cather, DPh, director of pharmacy at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Okla. "The pharmacy and nursing workflow improvements alone are vital because with today's staffing shortages, anything we can do to provide our staff with more clinical time will benefit us and our patients."

"Understanding the clinical and operational challenges that hospitals face is critical to innovation. The decision support expertise of our MediQual® Products combined with our Pharmacy Management and Consulting & Services businesses has resulted in the measures and metrics around best practices and the expertise to help hospitals achieve these. We are now capable of providing them with comprehensive medication management solutions designed specifically to improve their clinical, operational and financial performance," Schlotterbeck concluded.

About Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health, Inc. (www.cardinalhealth.com) is the leading provider of products and services supporting the health care industry. Cardinal Health develops, manufactures, packages and markets products for patient care; develops drug-delivery technologies; distributes pharmaceuticals and medical, surgical and laboratory supplies; and offers consulting and other services that improve quality and efficiency in health care. Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health employs more than 55,000 people on six continents and produces annual revenues of more than $65 billion.


Except for historical information, all other information in this news release consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in Cardinal Health's Form 10-K, Form 8-K and Form 10-Q reports (including all amendments to those reports) and exhibits to those reports, and include (but are not limited to) the costs, difficulties, and uncertainties related to the integration of acquired businesses, the loss of one or more key customer or supplier relationships or changes to the terms of those relationships, changes in the distribution patterns or reimbursement rates for health-care products and/or services, the results, consequences, effects or timing of any inquiry or investigation by any regulatory authority or any legal and administrative proceedings, the impact of previously announced restatements, difficulties in opening new facilities or fully utilizing existing capacity, difficulties and uncertainties associated with business model transitions, and general economic and market conditions. Cardinal Health undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.

 


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