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Microsoft Introduces Patient Safety Screening Tool to Stop Spread of In-Hospital Infections

Accent on Integration delivers and supports the first module, targeting


ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2008 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of its Patient Safety Screening Tool (PSST), a software-based solution designed to help healthcare organizations identify potential adverse events that occur during hospitalization. The PSST features a set of indicators that provide information on potential in-hospital complications and adverse events following surgeries and medical procedures.

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The first module of this platform available is the Patient Safety Screening Tool for Sepsis offering. Sepsis is a deadly infection that strikes an estimated 750,000 people annually in the United States alone. Microsoft's Patient Safety Screening Tool for Sepsis is being supported and delivered by Microsoft partner Accent on Integration (AOI), a leading systems integrator focused on the healthcare market, with clinical direction from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Built entirely on the Microsoft platform, the solution leverages Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and Microsoft InfoPath (Office 2007 version).

With highly adaptable code that can be modified to any customer environment, the PSST for Sepsis is designed to provide rapid implementation with minimal configuration. The solution's first focus is on tracking sepsis, the 10th leading killer(1) worldwide, but will have the ability to track many other diseases.

"Reducing mortality due to severe sepsis requires an organized process that guarantees the early recognition of the infection, along with the uniform and consistent application of the best evidence-based practices," said Chris Sullivan, industry solutions director, Microsoft U.S. Health and Life Sciences Group. "The Patient Safety Screening Tool for Sepsis can help save lives by monitoring clinical data inputs and dispatching alerts and reminders based on predefined thresholds and pattern matching to facilitate early detection and intervention."

Early detection of sepsis not only saves lives, it can save money for hospitals and healthcare providers. Today severe sepsis accounts for an estimated 40 percent of total ICU expenditures, or $16.7 billion(1) in the United States alone. Adding to the potential liability for hospitals, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently issued a ruling in August 2007 that limits the payment hospitals will receive for certain preventable hospital- acquired infections and serious preventable errors. Sepsis is on the short list for addition to the list of conditions covered starting in 2009.

"The average day in the ICU costs $5,000. Early detection of sepsis can reduce a patient's length of stay from 15 to 10 days and save the healthcare system $25,000," said Jason Whiteside, vice president of business development, AOI. "Reducing infection rates also drives consumer demand. That's because people are increasingly searching for healthcare systems with the highest quality of care."

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is taking proactive steps against sepsis. VUMC is currently conducting a pilot project in which Microsoft's PSST for Sepsis is assisting with the early detection of the disease. The solution relies on integration with bedside medical equipment data as well as lab and registration data, so that clinical workflow items can be automated to prevent the rise of sepsis. At VUMC, all this information can be communicated to the PSST through an innovative remote patient-monitoring solution called Vigilance from Acuitec.

"Even with the years of specialized training physicians receive, it is challenging to see patterns in clinical data amid chaos," said Dr. John Barwise, assistant professor of anesthesiology and neurosurgery, Division of Critical Care, VUMC. "The early detection and treatment of sepsis requires a number of tests, observations and decisions to be made in a limited amount of time. Microsoft's Patient Safety Screening Tool is an essential tool in the fight against sepsis. While the initial focus with PSST is early detection of severe sepsis, the tool is flexible to allow for future modules such as MRSA, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and more."

"The Patient Safety Screening Tool is a suite of Microsoft technologies that enable caregiver collaboration and increase patient safety through early detection of severe sepsis in critical care units," said Randy Fusco, industry technical strategist, Microsoft U.S. Health and Life Sciences Group. "Built on the latest Microsoft platform, PSST can be delivered as a traditional Web- based solution within the hospital or as a software plus services model, providing even more flexibility for provider organizations to deploy solutions focused on patient safety. PSST is a great example of how Microsoft customers can deploy Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to enable automated workflows and ultimately drive improved patient care."

The Patient Safety Screening Tool is part of the Microsoft Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint. Launched at last year's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) show, the blueprint offers a real-world model for healthcare providers seeking to deploy service-oriented architecture solutions to address increasing pressures on an overburdened and fragmented healthcare system. The Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint provides a vendor-agnostic approach for addressing integration and solutions within healthcare organizations. It also offers guidance to help these organizations address key issues such as service delivery capability, capacity and reliability.

More information on the Patient Safety Screening Tool for Sepsis is available at the Accent on Integration Web site at

About Microsoft in Health and Life Sciences

Microsoft provides standards-based products and technology to help the healthcare and life sciences industries break down information barriers between the disparate IT environments across pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, physicians and healthcare professionals, provider organizations, government and private-sector employers, health insurers, and consumers. Microsoft's vision for knowledge-driven health utilizes the company's market-leading technology to help people in the healthcare provider, payer and life sciences organizations integrate their systems, dramatically enhance collaboration, and increase information sharing and learning -- ultimately resulting in the ability to deliver high-quality products and services to patients and consumers worldwide. More information about Microsoft in the health industry can be found at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

(1) Angus, DC, et al., Crit Care Med. 2001, 29:1303-1310

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
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