Sutter Health To Unveil $50 Million Program To Improve Patient Safety Technology in Hospitals
Sacramento-based Sutter Health today will announce a $50 million program to improve patient safety technology at the not-for-profit health system's 26 hospitals. The program will include a bar code system for medication delivery and a 24-hour intensive care unit remote monitoring system. The bar code system will feature bedside computers that nurses can use to scan bar codes placed on patients' armbands and on their medications. The computer will interface with patients' electronic medical records to ensure that they receive the correct dosage at the correct time. Bridge Medical, a patient safety applications provider, developed the system. Sutter also will establish an ICU monitoring system that will allow specially trained critical care physicians and nurses to monitor patients from an off-site "eICU." The system will transmit the vital signs and lab data for the most critical patients to the eICU, as well as on-site physician and nurse stations. The system, developed by VISICU, will allow medical workers in the eICU to monitor patients in Sutter's more than 400 ICU beds. The Pacific Business Group on Health endorsed the program. "Research demonstrates that errors can be reduced and lives saved through bold system changes like these," PBGH President Peter Lee said, adding, "We hope other hospitals follow Sutter's lead and recognize that investing in quality can pay off both for patients and in reducing costs" (Sutter release, 8/13). For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat.org, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.