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Nineteen New England Hospitals Come Together to Focus on Improving Clinical Quality and Patient Safety

Nineteen New England Hospitals Come Together to Focus on Improving Clinical Quality and Patient Safety

IRVING, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 07/21/08 -- Nineteen hospitals across the state(s) have come together to focus on preventing and reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers. The hospitals have joined what's known as a Rapid Adoption Network (RAN), a virtual network that will allow them to share information about their clinical practices for the purpose of accelerating the pace of clinical improvement, cutting improvement time to less than one year. The RAN is sponsored by VHA Inc., the national health care alliance. A unifying focal point for the RAN will be the clinical blueprint VHA has developed to help its members prevent or reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers. The 19 participating member hospitals include:

--  Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, N.H.
--  Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston, Maine
--  Concord Hospital, Concord, N.H.
--  Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.
--  Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, Maine
--  Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.H.
--  Inland Hospital, Waterville, Maine
--  Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Mass.
--  Maine General , Augusta, Maine
--  Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine
--  Mayo Regional Hospital, Dover Foxcroft, Maine
--  Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick, Maine
--  Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport, Maine
--  Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford, Maine
--  Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua, N.H.
--  Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennigton, Vt.
--  Stephens Memorial Hospital, Norway, Maine
--  Valley Regional, Claremont, N.H.
--  Westerly Hospital, Westerly, R.I.

"By working together, meeting in real time and virtually, we can share information about how we each perform with other members in the network, enabling us to achieve rapid clinical improvements and provide better care for our patients," said Mary Catherine Rawls, RN, MS, BC, clinical nurse specialist for surgery and surgical specialties at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. "VHA's Rapid Adoption Network takes the delivery of quality care to the next level and the clinical blueprints VHA has developed serve as the foundation for our hospital to maintain quality going forward."

"VHA's clinical improvement platform focuses on helping members become leading performers," said Trent Haywood, M.D., J.D., chief medical officer at VHA. "Our programs and services will help guide members towards success and improve clinical care across the country."

"Hospitals across the state are under significant pressure from both federal and state insurance programs and private insurers to improve quality, and participation in this effort will help these hospitals meet that mandate," said Kathryn Hayes-Hallowell, CPHQ, FACHE, senior director of clinical performance improvement at VHA's regional office in Portland, Maine.

A Rapid Adoption Network is one component of VHA's overall clinical improvement platform, which includes:

--  Leading Practices Portal -- a Web-based tool specifically designed to
    provide hospitals with a faster and more efficient path to adopting leading
    practices.  Hospital members can view Leading Practice Blueprints(TM) and
    can also compare the gaps in their processes against the leading practice
--  Leading Practice Blueprints(TM) -- Sophisticated, yet simple to
    follow, process maps based on ethnographic research at top performing VHA
    members. These blueprints were developed by carefully studying the
    clinical, engineering and design factors that are important to each leading
    practice hospital and integrating these elements into a powerful visual
--  Clinical Educational Series -- Multimedia formatted educational
    programs provide year-round access to leading performers and leading

About VHA -- VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national alliance that provides industry-leading supply chain management services and supports the formation of regional and national networks to help members improve their clinical and economic performance. With 17 offices across the U.S., VHA has a track record of proven results in serving more than 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 23,000 non-acute care organizations nationwide.

Media Contact:
Lynn Gentry
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