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Companies Recognized for Patient Safety Innovations

Surgery

(Sasin Tipchai, Pixabay)

6 February 2017. Three companies received awards for their products aimed at reducing the number of preventable deaths occurring in American hospitals. The awards totaling $85,000 were made 5 February at the World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Dana Point, California.

The event and awards are sponsored by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation in Irvine, California, an advocate for large reductions in the number of preventable deaths in American hospitals that the group says exceeds 200,000 per year. A study by Johns Hopkins University released in May 2016 estimates even larger numbers of preventable hospital deaths, more than 250,000, making it the third largest cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer, and ahead of respiratory disorders.

The first-place award of $50,00n went to ReavillMED LLC in Plainfield, Illinois, maker of a simpler central line infusion system that the company says sharply reduces the chance for infections. Central lines, also known as central venous catheters, are tubes placed in a large chest, groin, or neck vein to provide drugs and fluids or draw blood. These catheters are meant to remain in place for weeks or months, compared to intravenous or IV tubes, placed in the arm for much shorter periods. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says central line infections cause thousands of deaths each year, and recommends a series of preventive steps, including sterile barrier precautions.

The ReavillMED technology makes it possible to carry out central line functions through an IV tube in the arm, eliminating the need for catheters in the larger veins. The company says its process can convert an IV into central line delivery with a push of fluid that takes about 30 seconds, meeting CDC’s guidelines for sterile barrier precautions. ReavillMED says the IV tubes can stay in place for up to a year, but almost completely eliminate risks of infection as well.

A system to quickly and accurately calculate drug doses for children took the second place award of $25,000. SafeDose Scan made by eBroselow LLC in Blacksburg, Virginia computes the dose, concentration, volume, and dilution of drugs for children of varying ages, weights, and their illnesses. The company offers the system as an online web application and in a mobile app that connect to the eBroselow database. Clinicians can scan a drug’s standard National Drug Code, a unique identifier for each medication, and enter simple color-coded data elements to compute or verify dosages.

The third prize of $10,000 went to software made by Wiser Systems LLC in Charlotte, Vermont. The software, known as Systematic Electronic Risk Assessment for Suicide, or Seras, is designed to reveal risks of suicide by  hospitalized patients that according to the company occur every other day. Patients complete a brief Seras questionnaire on a tablet, which the company says takes less than a minute, with the data then analyzed by algorithms to uncover suicidal tendencies.

Wiser Systems says the algorithms are based on evaluations derived from networks of experts that replicate the judgements made by clinical psychologists. Yet Seras can be administered by regular hospital staff to assess suicide risk in the first 72 hours after admittance.

Patient Safety Movement says the three winners were selected from more than 100 entries.

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