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Hoana Medical to Present at the National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care
Date:12/10/2008

HONOLULU, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoana Medical announced today that its patented LifeBed(TM) and LifeGurney(TM) Patient Vigilance Systems will be showcased at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) premier event in Nashville, TN., which will be attended by nearly 5,000 leaders in hospital safety.

Hoana is launching an aggressive Luminary program in conjunction with the IHI event, to introduce its LifeGurney system, focused on overcrowding in the emergency room. "We are partnering with six leading emergency room sites across the USA to address overcrowding issues facing almost all hospitals," said Dr. Patrick Sullivan, President & CEO of Hoana Medical. "IHI focuses on quality improvement, and Hoana offers patient safety solutions that support nurses and physicians in providing the highest quality health care available."

Nursing labor shortages, tighter economic resources, overcrowding in emergency rooms and other "holding areas" culminate in a growing problem and can lead to patient diversions, stoppage of elective surgery and increased patient dissatisfaction -- all of which negatively impact hospital throughput and revenue. According to the Joint Commission, "one half of all 'sentinel event' cases of poor outcomes that were attributable to delays in therapy originated in the emergency department, with overcrowding playing a role in almost one third of these cases."

Being hospitalized should provide patients with the highest levels of care possible. Yet even in the best hospitals, patients experience falls -- sometimes with severe injury -- or develop avoidable conditions such as pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, or life-threatening conditions. These conditions contribute to the rising cost of health care and lead to an estimated 200,000 deaths annually.

All of these conditions have been found to be "nurse sensitive" indicators -- meaning that the more Registered Nurses (RNs) that are employed, the less likely patients are to suffer from these conditions. RNs are at the front lines of patient safety in hospitals, providing careful observation, assessment and interventions for changes in a patient's condition. This important function is defined as vigilance, which has been described as the essence of the nursing profession. Providing vigilance is becoming increasingly difficult, with the growing worldwide nursing shortage, compounded by budgetary constraints impinging on all areas of health care.

Decreasing the number of RNs places health care organizations in the untenable position of choosing cost reduction over patient safety. Yet, reductions in nurse staffing levels are becoming more commonplace in these difficult economic times, as administrators struggle to reduce personnel spending to balance already strained budgets. Patient mortality increases by 7% for each patient beyond 4 for whom a RN is responsible; a study of 6 million discharges demonstrated that multiple complications -- including death -- were significantly higher in hospitals with fewer RNs. Results of research from the third multi-site research project demonstrating the impact of the LifeBed on nurse workflow and workload will be shared during the conference by Drs. T. Heather Herdman & Larry Burgess.

Recent technological advances are able to provide solutions to nursing staff now dealing with higher patient acuity and patient volumes, such that patients can benefit from safe care in the unfortunate climate of increased nurse-staffing ratios. Innovative hospitals are using the LifeBed(TM) Patient Vigilance System to enhance patient safety even in these difficult economic times. This technology provides a cost-effective methodology to enhance vigilance, by providing continuous heart and respiratory rate monitoring and fall prevention.

LifeBed technology provides heart and respiratory rates of patients while they are in bed -- without any leads or wires connected to the patient. When a patient's heart or respiratory rate goes out of an acceptable range, nurses are alerted through the nurse call system that is already in use in their hospital. Patients at risk for falls are also made safer through the use of a patient fall system that can be set based on an individual's anticipated fall risk. Continuous vigilance monitoring allows RNs to confidently provide direct care for one patient, knowing that the LifeBed system is constantly tracking all other patients. This patient safety system has nearly 2 million hours of patient use, and has been found to identify patients in distress when a RN is not in the room. In a recently completed multicenter trial, nurses spent more time in patient care activities after institution of continuous vigilance monitoring, which reduces morbidity and mortality based on previous research.

About Hoana Medical, Inc.

Launched in 2002, Hoana Medical, Inc. is the world's leading healthcare company focused on "Intelligent Medical Vigilance" in acute care hospitals where approximately 200,000 people die from errors and mistakes. It manufacturers two Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared offerings: the LifeBed(TM) Patient Vigilance System, focused on the medical-surgical ward of the acute care hospital and the LifeGurney(TM) Patient Vigilance System, focused on the emergency department of the acute care hospital. Hoana's Patient Vigilance System, transforms any hospital bed or stretcher into a LifeBed(TM) System, or LifeGurney(TM) System, by tracking a patient's vital signs without any wires or connections to the patient. At the intersection between information technology and medical devices, the LifeBed(TM) System acts like another set of eyes for the nurse and alerts if a patient is in trouble. It delivers "vigilance" in an untethered and invisible manner, however, if the patient is in trouble, the LifeBed(TM) System alerts, bringing nurses to the bedside. Experience on more than 18,000 individual hospital patients around the U.S. has yielded several hundred dramatic stories of nurses intervening to save a patient's life. Hoana is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. For more information, please visit http://www.hoana.com

About Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization helping to lead the improvement of health care throughout the world. Founded in 1991 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, IHI works to accelerate improvement by building the will for change, cultivating promising concepts for improving patient care, and helping health care systems put those ideas into action.

The aim of IHI is to improve the lives of patients, the health of communities, and the joy of the health care workforce by focusing on an ambitious set of goals adapted from the Institute of Medicine's six improvement aims for the health care system: Safety, Effectiveness, Patient-Centeredness, Timeliness, Efficiency, and Equity ("No Needless List"):

    -- No needless deaths
    -- No needless pain or suffering
    -- No helplessness in those served or serving
    -- No unwanted waiting
    -- No waste
    -- No one left out


IHI works with health professionals throughout the world to accelerate the measurable and continual progress of health care systems toward these bold objectives, leading to breakthrough improvements that are truly meaningful in the lives of patients.

We will be a recognized and generous leader, a trustworthy partner, and the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for anyone, anywhere who wants to change health care profoundly for the better.


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SOURCE Hoana Medical, Inc.
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