Healthcare Industry News:  ventilator 

Devices Hospitals & Healthcare Systems

 News Release - August 9, 2006

Ascension Health and Hill-Rom Enter into Five-year Strategic Alliance

BATESVILLE, Ind., Aug. 9 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Hill-Rom announced today the execution of a five-year strategic alliance agreement with Ascension Health centered upon the reduction and eventual elimination of certain adverse events occurring within the patient care environment.

The new partnership expands a relationship begun in 2004 in which the organizations worked jointly at various Ascension Health ministries to implement processes and deploy new equipment initially focused on the elimination of pressure ulcers. Later initiatives will extend to other adverse events, including ventilator-associated pneumonia and patient falls. Based on highly successful pilot programs, Ascension Health has begun purchasing more than $60 million in new patient care systems (integrated bed frames and therapy surfaces). The purchase is expected to be complete by the end of September 2007.

As part of the strategic alliance, Hill-Rom has also committed further clinical consulting resources and product development to help Ascension achieve its goals. Both Ascension Health and Hill-Rom are beginning efforts to jointly develop an automated e-learning tool to train more than 20,000 nurses and other caregivers across Ascension Health on patient care processes and equipment use that have been demonstrated to materially reduce adverse events.

"During the first 18 months of our original agreement, Hill-Rom consistently demonstrated that its quality products and professional support teams are focused on assisting our facilities with achieving our clinical excellence goals," commented Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, president and CEO of Ascension Health. "The early results we have obtained at our pilot ministries in preventing certain adverse events by utilizing Hill-Rom's advanced frame and surface technologies, in conjunction with new care processes and protocols, are significant in helping us to deliver on our Call to Action promise of Healthcare That Works, Healthcare That Is Safe and Healthcare That Leaves No One Behind, for Life."

Ascension Health and Hill-Rom plan to expand the strategic alliance to cover new initiatives, including jointly documenting clinical outcomes and communicating them within the industry, joint research and development and the creation of additional, innovative learning vehicles.

"We appreciate the trust Ascension Health has placed in Hill-Rom's people and patient care systems to assist them in improving patient outcomes," commented Peter H. Soderberg, president and CEO of Hill-Rom. "Our work to date with Ascension Health ministries has demonstrated the exceptional impact on clinical outcomes that can occur when a health care provider and a medical technology provider work closely together to eliminate adverse events. Our contemplated work going forward should magnify those positive outcomes."

About Ascension Health

Ascension Health is the nation's largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system, serving patients through a network of hospitals and related health facilities providing acute care services, long-term care, community health services, psychiatric, rehabilitation and residential care. In fiscal year 2005 Ascension Health provided more than $671 million in care directly to the poor or through community benefit programs. Ascension Health employs more than 100,000 associates and operates 67 hospitals in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

About Hill-Rom

Hill-Rom helps health care professionals safely deliver effective and efficient care to their patients in acute care, long-term care and home care environments. The company's extensive product and service offerings include: information technology, patient care beds, stretchers, therapeutic surfaces, patient flow and workflow solutions, nurse communication systems and facility assessments.

In addition, the company provides comprehensive asset management programs and on-demand medical equipment rental, utilizing its more than 200 service centers located strategically throughout the United States. The company also offers expert clinical and equipment services and programs that can help improve asset productivity, operational efficiency and patient outcomes. Hill- Rom's global headquarters is based in Batesville, Ind., and employs approximately 6,500 people worldwide. It is an operating company of Hillenbrand Industries (NYSE: HB ). Hill-Rom's Web site is http://www.hill-rom.com .

Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this press release contain forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding the Company's future plans, objectives, beliefs, expectations, representations and projections. The Company has tried, wherever possible, to identify these forward-looking statements using words such as "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "encourage," "expect," "may," "goal," "become," "pursue," "estimate," "strategy," "will," "projection," "forecast," "continue," "accelerate," "promise," "increase," "higher," "lower," "reduce," "improve," "expand," "extend", "progress" or the negative of those terms or other variations of them or by comparable terminology. The absence of such terms, however, does not mean that the statement is not forward-looking. It is important to note that forward- looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and the Company's actual results could differ materially from those set forth in any forward- looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from forward-looking statements include but are not limited to: the Company's dependence on its relationships with several large national providers and group purchasing organizations, changes in death rates, whether the Company's new products are successful in the marketplace, changes in customers' Medicare reimbursements, the success of the implementation of the Company's enterprise resource planning system, compliance with FDA regulations, tax-related matters, potential exposure to antitrust, product liability or other claims, failure of the Company to execute its acquisition strategy through the consummation and successful integration of acquisitions and the ability to retain executive officers and other key personnel. For a more in depth discussion of these and other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in forward-looking statements, see the discussions under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended September 30, 2005 and under the same heading in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2006, when filed. The Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.


Source: Hill-Rom

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