SAN DIEGO, Oct. 31, 2005 – Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH), the leading provider of products and services supporting the healthcare industry, today announced the next generation of its Alaris® System with Guardrails® Suite MX safety software. The ”smart pump” system contains several important new safety features including a bar code reader that enables medication verification for IV drugs at the point of care and a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) Pause Protocol that helps minimize the risk of patient respiratory depression during pain management therapy.
Adverse drug events (ADEs) are the most common cause of patient injury in hospitals and 61 percent of the most serious and life-threatening adverse events are IV drug related. The Alaris® System is the most comprehensive IV-safety system available for all types of infusions and the only system available with the ability to protect both total dose and duration of intermittent drug infusions including chemotherapy. The Alaris® System has demonstrated measurable improvements in patient safety and clinical performance in managing IV medications at the point of care. It is the first and only system of its kind available to offer an integrated modular platform that includes infusion therapy and patient monitoring for enhanced patient safety at the bedside.
The Alaris® System with the Guardrails® Suite MX has important new safety features and components:
- For chemotherapy and other intermittent infusions, the Alaris® System has two new Guardrails® limits – one for the total dose of the infusion and another for the duration of delivery – providing significantly increased protection for these types of high-risk infusions. In addition, hospitals can customize an IV fluid library for each profile, establishing rate limits that help ensure accurate delivery of fluids to patients throughout the duration of therapy.
- For patients receiving PCA, the PCA Pause Protocol offers the clinician the unique ability to automatically pause a PCA infusion if a patient’s respiratory rate falls below hospital-defined monitoring limits, making the Alaris® System the only one available to offer individual patient protection throughout the duration of pain therapy.
- In order to address the specific requirements for IV medication administration, the Alaris® Auto-ID system provides bar coding functionality, which adds an additional check in the IV-medication verification process. The system allows hospitals with or without a wireless network or bar coding system to benefit from the added safety of bar coding for IV therapy and helps reduce IV-programming errors. This new Alaris® System module enables the inclusion of patient and clinician identification in continuous quality improvement (CQI) data captured at the point of care. Hospitals with the Alaris® Gateway are then able to relay patient-specific infusion and alarms data to third-party electronic medication administration record (eMAR) and other hospital information systems.
- Each hospital defines its rules for IV medication use. Changes in these rules can now be maintained continuously through a wireless network or with the new Alaris® Mobile Systems Manager, which has the ability to transfer IV medication rules in non-wireless and partly-wireless network environments with no interruption in clinical care. Equipped with a wireless access point, the Alaris® Mobile Systems Manager is a computer on wheels that makes WiFi technology and efficient IV medication rules transfer available to all Alaris® System customers.
The Nebraska Medical Center uses the Alaris® System to administer high-risk chemotherapy drugs
The first hospital system to implement the new Guardrails® Suite MX is The Nebraska Medical Center, in partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Eppley Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska. This is an internationally recognized cancer research center and part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The Nebraska Medical Center uses this version of the Alaris® System to address patient safety concerns associated with high-risk chemotherapy drugs.
“We have been very impressed with the expanded capabilities of this safety system in delivering IV chemotherapy and the safety net it provides not only for our patients, but also for our nursing staff,” said Al Gould, RN, MSN, CCRN, clinical equipment specialist. “With this system, our staff has the confidence that they can avoid mistakes in programming and administrating IV chemotherapy — where there is absolutely no room for error. At the same time, it is helping us to standardize our clinical practice.”
The Alaris® Auto-ID module simplifies clinical workflow, according to Charis Begley, cancer treatment center nurse at Nebraska Medical Center. “Once you use the Auto-ID module, you find it really goes smoothly,” said Begley. “It’s a good double-check that everything is correct before application occurs.”
Chemotherapy drugs, one of the most critical IV infusion types, are highly toxic and have a narrow therapeutic range. A recent study showed chemotherapy errors occurred in 63 percent of respondents’ practices, while only three percent of which are actually reported. The most common error was the wrong dose (39 percent). 1 The Alaris® System provides the right protection for all infusions – bolus, continuous and total dose and duration – resulting in the safer administration of chemotherapy drugs.
“Chemotherapy infusions have been under-protected from error in the past, and with this new release, Cardinal Health is the only company to offer a solution that helps protect all types of IV infusions,” said Jake St. Philip, Cardinal Health’s president of the Alaris® Products North America business. “We’re proud that we have been able to provide our customers with the most comprehensive infusion safety system on the market, and we’ll continue to lead the way in medication safety with new innovations and solutions.”
*Alaris® System formerly known as the Medley® System.
About Cardinal HealthHeadquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $75 billion, global company serving the healthcare industry with a broad portfolio of products and services. It manufactures and distributes pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, offers a range of clinical services and develops automation products that improve the management and delivery of supplies and medication for hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies. Through this diverse offering, Cardinal Health delivers integrated healthcare solutions that help customers reduce their costs, improve efficiency and deliver better care to patients. Ranked No. 16 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs more than 55,000 people on six continents. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com.
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 following: 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 or delays in implementing its global restructuring program; difficulties in opening new facilities or fully utilizing existing capacity; difficulties and uncertainties associated with business model transitions, including the conversion of margin generated from branded pharmaceutical manufacturers to non-contingent consideration; and general economic and market conditions. Cardinal Health undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.