Healthcare Industry News:  analgesia 


 News Release - October 16, 2006

Hospira Unveils Symbiq(TM) Next-Generation Infusion System

Award-Winning Product Design Offers Unmatched Patient-Safety Features

CHICAGO, Oct. 16 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP ), a leading global hospital products company, today unveiled the Symbiq(TM) infusion system, a medically and technologically advanced medication management system that combines ease of use, reliability and next-generation technology. Hospira will preview the product at booth #717 at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) 2006 Annual Meeting, underway through Oct. 18 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Separately, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) will award Symbiq the 2006 User-Centered Product Design Award later this week at the HFES 50th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Infusion systems like Symbiq administer intravenous (I.V.) medications, fluids and solutions to patients. It is critical for these devices to have safeguards, such as safety software and instinctive programming options, to help clinicians prevent the estimated 1.5 million medication errors that occur annually in the United States.(i)

"Improving patient safety and quality of care is our first priority," said Edward Ogunro, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and senior vice president, Research and Development and Medical Affairs, Hospira. "By involving clinicians in all phases of the Symbiq development process, we created an intuitive system that will bring exceptional value in helping hospitals reduce medication errors. We are pleased that our focus on enabling caregivers to do their jobs well has earned Symbiq a product design award from HFES."

Intelligent Device Boasts Unprecedented Safety and Usability

Symbiq is an "intelligent" pump that incorporates differentiated, clinician-friendly features to decrease errors and improve workflow:
-- Advanced infusion system with patient-safety software already
integrated into the device -- assures compliance. With Hospira
MedNet® safety software already built in, Symbiq was designed to
provide 100 percent compliance with hospital dosing, clinical and
safety guidelines. Added benefits include sophisticated reporting
capabilities and support of hospital standardization.
-- Intuitive LCD display, similar to an ATM screen -- features simple
layouts and touch-activated buttons to help minimize errors.
-- Easy-to-read display with large font and color prompts -- provides a
view of medication status visible from a distance of up to 12 feet,
under normal circumstances.
-- Quick-release pole clamp -- enables clinicians to rapidly move or
attach the system to an I.V. pole or bed rail, which is critical when
a pump has to be transported within a hospital.
-- Automatic medication-loading slot -- allows easy and time-saving
insertion of the medication administration set. It's as simple as
putting a disc into a DVD player, resulting in additional ease of use
and enhanced free-flow protection.

"The panel of judges who evaluated the many award submissions were impressed with the way end users were involved throughout the Symbiq development process," said Stan Caplan, co-chair of the HFES award selection committee and president of Usability Associates, a product-design consulting firm. "End-user information and perceptions became a driver for efforts to create a product the clinicians can operate effectively with minimal training."

Human-Factors Design Leads to Safety and Reliability

Human factors, or ergonomics, is the science of applying theory, principles, data and other design methods to optimize human usability and overall system performance. In a recent report on enhancing patient safety, the Institute of Medicine recommended incorporating human-factors design into device development to help decrease medication errors and enhance interaction between clinicians and technology.

The HFES User-Centered Product Design Award recognizes innovative and user-centered approaches to human-factors design. A panel of judges experienced in the development of several types of products selected Symbiq based on an evaluation of three design criteria: functional obviousness, ease of operation and creativity. They also assessed the use of appropriate evaluation methods and user-research criteria during concept development and design.

Symbiq Enhances Best-in-Class Hospira Portfolio

Advanced technology is essential to meeting evolving patient safety needs. With this in mind, Symbiq was developed to administer medication under the most rigorous therapeutic circumstances. It rounds out Hospira's broad portfolio of medication management products, which includes Hospira MedNet safety software and several infusion systems to serve a variety of hospital, clinician and patient needs. Symbiq is backed by Hospira's reputation as a leading provider of medication delivery and patient safety products, with more than 400,000 Hospira infusion pumps installed worldwide in hospitals today.

Hospira MedNet is also available as an enhancement to the Plum A+® general infusion system, the Plum A+®3 triple-channel device and the LifeCare PCA® patient-controlled analgesia system. Other Hospira medication management offerings include the GemStar® ambulatory infusion system and the Omni-Flow 4000® Plus specialty device, as well as the company's customer- focused Client Services team that provides implementation support and information technology, clinical and pharmacy consultation to hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

Hospira has already received customer orders for Symbiq and expects to begin shipping it by year end. Clinicians and media attending the ASA meeting will have an opportunity to preview the device in advance of its commercial availability.

About Hospira

Hospira, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company dedicated to Advancing Wellness(TM) by developing, manufacturing and marketing products that help improve the productivity, safety and efficacy of patient care. With 70 years of service to the hospital industry, Hospira's portfolio includes one of the industry's broadest lines of generic acute-care injectables, which help address the high cost of proprietary pharmaceuticals; integrated solutions for medication management and infusion therapy; and the leading U.S. injectable contract manufacturing business. Headquartered north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Ill., Hospira has approximately 13,000 employees and 14 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Hospira's news releases and other information can be found at

(i) IOM. 2007. Preventing Medication Errors. (pre-publication copy) Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Pre-publication copy available at as of July 20, 2006.

Source: Hospira

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