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FUJIFILM SonoSite Applauds US Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the Need to Address Preventable Deaths in US Healthcare System

FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc., the world leader and specialist in ultrasound performed at the point-of-care, applauds the US Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging for having a hearing to explore ways to stem the more than 1000 preventable patient deaths a day in the US healthcare system.

“This crisis needs to be addressed at the highest levels sooner rather than later, and we applaud the Senate for taking action,” said Diku Mandavia, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at FUJIFILM SonoSite. “The fact is that there are many tools and methods to prevent these deaths if adopted broadly across a hospital, including those to significantly reduce a major threat to patient safety –hospital-acquired conditions.”

Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are complications that a patient may develop during a stay in a hospital or medical facility. To reduce this patient risk, many leading hospitals now mandate that their physicians adopt proven best practices. As an example, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), as well as other medical groups recommend ultrasound-guided central line insertion for safer vascular access, based on overwhelming scientific evidence of its safety benefits.

Mandavia asserted that, “Central Venous Catheter (CVC) insertion can be risky. Both mechanical complications, such as a pneumothorax, or a Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI) can occur during the procedure. An iatrogenic pneumothorax is deemed a high cost and preventable event at many hospitals and healthcare systems and, as of October 2012, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not compensate hospitals for additional costs incurred from this complication."

Haney Mallemat, MD, an emergency and critical care physician in Baltimore, Maryland said, “I have made ultrasound-guided central line placement a standard practice --not just to improve safety, but also to provide faster vascular access during emergencies, when every second counts. Many studies show that this technique is more likely to succeed on the first try, accelerating treatment of critically injured or ill patients."

During the hearing, several testimonials were given emphasizing the importance of evidence-based protocols and well-trained healthcare professionals in reducing the risk of patient harm and even deaths.

Recognizing these needs, FUJIFILM SonoSite recently announced the availability of a new patient-safety program, called The SonoSite Solution for Safer Central Venous Catheterization that was specifically designed to help hospitals reduce complications during CVC insertion.

The SonoSite Solution is designed to be a collaboration between SonoSite and the healthcare provider. The objective is to provide a ready-made, but highly modifiable and scalable, clinical pathway to reduce CVC-insertion complications that can be prevented and may contribute to higher rates of mortality. The program is rooted in quality-improvement science and includes the support of Solutions Advisors who can help guide an institution through the improvement cycle.

SonoSite developed the program with the belief that real improvements in patient safety come not only from developing medical devices that may be used for this effort, but also in working closely with providers to elevate care delivery through education and process improvements.

SonoSite is a corporate council and Stand Up for Patient Safety member of the National Patient Safety Foundation.

For information on SonoSite Solutions: www.sonosite.com/solutions.

About Fujifilm

FUJIFILM SonoSite, Inc., is the innovator and world leader in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound, and an industry leader in ultra high-frequency micro-ultrasound technology. Headquartered near Seattle, the company is represented by 26 subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 100 countries. SonoSite’s portable, compact systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high-performance ultrasound to the point of patient care. For more information, go to: www.sonosite.com.

FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a vast portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies. In the year ended March 31, 2014, the company had global revenues of $23.7 billion, at an exchange rate of 103 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

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