Cardinal Health Launches New Technology to Help Protect Patients from Blood Transfusion Errors During Surgeries and Emergencies
CareFusion™ Transfusion Verification with Rapid Infusion offers a unique transfusion verification feature for emergency situations
DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct. 16, 2007 — Cardinal Health, a global provider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity of health care, today launched a new technology to protect patients from blood transfusion errors in operating rooms, emergency departments and other critical care areas, where transfusions need to occur rapidly.
With the new Rapid Infusion feature, the CareFusion™ Transfusion Verification application can now accommodate transfusion workflow in any critical care environment. Rapid Infusion provides a systematic method of positive patient identification for matching blood components and efficient documentation, even during emergency situations.
While the CareFusion™ Transfusion Verification application has been available for three years, it is traditionally used in the patient room environment and other non-emergency situations because of the time required for documentation. However, more than 60 percent of all blood products in hospitals are transfused in an “emergency” environment, where extra safety measures to verify the match between patient and blood tag aren’t currently viable because they could lead to delays in transfusions. The amount of blood products transfused and the critical nature of events require a solution that accommodates workflow, while keeping patient safety a priority.
“Patient safety is of utmost importance at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital,” said Kristi Custard, assistant nurse manager of Cardiovascular Recovery who participated in a pilot program for the new technology. “We always seek new and innovative methods and protocols to provide safe, efficient care to all patients, especially the critically ill. The CareFusion™ Transfusion Verification Rapid Infusion feature provides St. Luke’s with the ability to help ensure we are transfusing the right blood to the right patient, even in the most critical environments.”
Using the wrong blood in a transfusion is considered a “never event” by the National Quality Forum (NQF). According to the NQF, “never events” are errors in medical care that are clearly identifiable, preventable, and serious in their consequences for patients, and that indicate a real problem in the safety and credibility of a health care facility.
In August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they will no longer pay for the additional cost to treat certain preventable errors in hospitals, including blood transfusion errors. Beginning in October 2008, hospitals will have to absorb any costs associated with treating blood transfusion errors for any Medicare or Medicaid patients.
Cardinal Health’s industry-first design provides a more flexible workflow in the operating room and emergency situations. CareFusion™ Transfusion Verification with Rapid Infusion can be configured as the only workflow or as an optional workflow. Documentation is optional and visual alerts such as colors and red borders assist in expediting a less restrictive workflow.
About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is an $87 billion, global company serving the health-care industry with products and services that help hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies reduce costs, improve safety, productivity and profitability, and deliver better care to patients. With a focus on making supply chains more efficient, reducing hospital-acquired infections and breaking the cycle of harmful medication errors, Cardinal Health develops market-leading technologies, including Alaris® IV pumps, Pyxis® automated dispensing systems, MedMined™ data mining service, VIASYS® respiratory care products and the CareFusion™ patient identification system. The company also manufactures medical and surgical products and is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies worldwide. Ranked No. 19 on the Fortune 500 and No. 1 in its sector on Fortune's ranking of Most Admired firms, Cardinal Health employs more than 40,000 people on five continents. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com.