Healthcare Industry News:  influenza 

Devices Distribution Group Purchasing

 News Release - July 22, 2009

Medline Awarded Premier Contract for Soaps, Lotions and Waterless Hand Rinses

Contract includes Protection Plus and Sterillium(R) Brand Hand Antisepsis Products That Enhance Hospital Infection-Control Efforts and Improve Hand Hygiene Compliance

MUNDELEIN, IL--(HSMN NewsFeed) - Medline Industries, Inc., the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies, announced today the signing of a five-year national agreement with Premier Purchasing Partners, the group purchasing unit of Premier, Inc., to provide soaps, lotions and waterless hand rinse products to the more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals and 58,000 healthcare sites that are members of the Premier healthcare alliance. The agreement, which takes effect October 1, 2009, includes key hand hygiene products such as Medline's Protection Plus antibacterial soaps, foams and lotions as well as the Sterillium brand of hand antisepsis products. "In health care today, every dollar counts. That is why we're proud to be able to offer high-quality products at critical savings to Premier members," said Kurt Krieghbaum, senior vice president, National Accounts for Medline. "Our relationship also allows us to provide hand hygiene products that are recommended by national patient safety groups as an important way to reduce the risks of hospital-acquired infection."

Recent news stories on global health issues such as H1N1 influenza (swine flu) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well as the cost of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), have brought infection control into a leading role in health care. HAIs affect at least 2 million patients, are estimated to contribute to 88,000 deaths annually in the U.S. and account for nearly $5 billion in treatment costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that one-third of these infections can be prevented by implementing better infection control programs and that hand hygiene is the most important measure preventing the spread of infection.

Faced with such numbers, hospitals and healthcare facilities are adopting new tools, products and techniques that enhance infection-control efforts, such as waterless hand sanitizers that make it easier for physicians and nurses to practice optimum hand hygiene. Alcohols have been used for skin antisepsis in healthcare for more than a century. But while most hand sanitizers contain isopropanol, ethanol, n-propanol or a combination of these ingredients, not all alcohol hand sanitizer formulas are the same. For example, it has been shown that the higher the concentration of alcohol in surgical hand antiseptics, the higher their effectiveness against resident hand flora. Sterillium Rub and Comfort Gel(TM) are the only products formulated with 80 percent or more alcohol to ensure a rapid, but also extensive and thorough, effect.

The CDC estimates that adherence to handwashing procedures alone could prevent the deaths of 20,000 patients each year. The World Health Organization, however, reports an average hand hygiene compliance rate among healthcare workers of only 40 percent. Skin irritation and dryness caused by frequent handwashing with soap and water, as well as inadequate understanding of hand hygiene guidelines or protocols, are the most often cited reasons for noncompliance. Sterillium Comfort Gel has been shown to increase skin hydration up to 14 percent, which may lead to greater staff compliance and better infection prevention.

"Performing conscientious hand cleansing, teaching good washing techniques and implementing comprehensive hand hygiene programs are strong steps that can help control the spread of organisms in the hospital environment," said Alecia Cooper, M.B.A., R.N., C.N.O.R., senior vice president of clinical services for Medline. "The use of waterless alcohol hand sanitizers will enhance hand hygiene programs, and Sterillium, with its high alcohol content, is an effective agent for reducing the number of viable pathogens on the hands."

About Premier, Inc.

The Premier healthcare alliance includes more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals and 58,000-plus other healthcare sites working together to improve healthcare quality and affordability. Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the United Kingdom's National Health Service Northwest to improve hospital performance.

About Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline, the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., Medline has more than 800 dedicated sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.

Meeting the highest level of national and international quality standards, Medline is FDA QSR compliant and ISO 13485 registered. Medline serves on major industry quality committees to develop guidelines and standards for medical product use, including the FDA Midwest Steering Committee, AAMI Sterilization and Packaging Committee and various ASTM committees. For more information on Medline, visit our Web site, www.medline.com.


Source: Medline Industries

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