5th Annual NPSF Patient Safety Congress Looks at Safety from Nine Points of View ... BPOC -- Barcoding -- and CPOE Among IT Solutions Featured

March 11, 2003

As they gather in the nation's capital for the Fifth Annual NPSF Patient Safety Congress, they will also be following President Bush's directive to "exchange information" to help keep patients safe, noted NPSF Congress Co-Chair William F. Jessee, MD, CMPE.

"Over the course of four days, attendees will have a rare opportunity to study and interact with national leaders who will offer detailed instructional presentations, case studies and facilitate invaluable discussions," said Jessee, president and chief executive officer of the Medical Group Management Association, and a member of the NPSF board.

The theme of this year's meeting is "Let's Get Results" and the emphasis will be on presenting solutions and methods to improve the safety of patients.

The Congress will feature educational tracks on employers/workforce, health plan, hospitals & nursing, media, medical groups and ambulatory care, NPSF research, partnering with patient & families, and pharmaceutical & device manufacturers. A ninth track on information technology includes sessions on computerized prescriber order entry systems (CPOE) and barcode-enabled point-of-care (BPOC) software systems ... the two methods consumers say they prefer -- according to an AmerisourceBergen Index(C) released Feb. 26 -- as a way to increase medication-dispensing accuracy.

Sessions on BPOC and CPOE include: -- Mark Neuenschwander -- one of the nation's leading barcode experts and principal of the Neuenschwander Co. -- will discuss "Bedside Scanning Technologies: Issues and Value." -- Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) VP Judy Smetzer, RN, BSN, former NPSF Cybrarian Lorri Zipperer and Malcolm Baldrige examiner Kate Goonan, MD, will discuss the new "Pathways for Medication Safety." This coordinated and comprehensive set of medication-error reduction tools includes a barcode readiness assessment tool for hospitals planning to invest in BPOC software systems. -- Wendy Wittwer, RN, BSN, will present a poster on "Making Patient Safety a Top Priority -- Using Bar Code Technology during the Medication Administration Process." The clinical coordinator will detail St. Marys Hospital Medical Center's pioneering use of a BPOC system from Bridge Medical called MedPoint(TM) to intercept medication errors, and describe their interdisciplinary team approach to addressing safety concerns. (St. Marys' use of MedPoint was among the programs Baldrige examiners reviewed before honoring the Madison, Wis., hospital's parent organization, SSM HEALTH CARE, with the healthcare industry's first Baldrige award.) -- Patient safety expert David C. Classen, MD, MS -- vice president of First Consulting Group -- will explore "The Art and Science of CPOE" ... a safety solution advanced by Leapfrog. NPSF Convenors: "Who's Who" of Healthcare

"To disseminate the message of patient safety as widely as possible this year," noted NPSF Congress Co-Chair Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA, "we broadened the list of convenors to include four federal agencies, the country's two leading group purchasing organizations, one medical school and dozens of other safety-minded organizations."

"Bridge is proud to be the only software vendor in this elite group of safety advocates," said Bridge President and CEO John B. Grotting. "Our commitment to NPSF has been unwavering over the years and we applaud those who continue to dedicate their time to working towards viable solutions to the problem of medical errors."

In addition to NPSF, Bridge Medical and the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences (at Eisenhower Medical Center), the other 33 convenors of this year's Congress are, in alphabetical order:

1. AARP 2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 3. American Association for the Advancement of Science 4. American Hospital Association 5. American Medical Association 6. American Nurses Association 7. American Organization of Nurse Executives 8. American Society for Healthcare Risk Management 9. American Society for Quality 10. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 11. Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation 12. Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Inc. 13. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses 14. Council on Public Interest Anesthesia 15. Department of Defense 16. FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research 17. Federation of American Hospitals 18. Institute for Healthcare Improvement 19. Institute for Safe Medication Practices 20. Joint Commission Resources 21. Medical College of Wisconsin 22. Medical Group Management Association 23. National Association for Healthcare Quality 24. National Committee on Quality Assurance 25. National Consumers League 26. National Health Council 27. Patient Safety Officers Society 28. PhRMA 29. Physician Insurers Association of America 30. Premier Inc. 31. USP Center for the Advancement of Patient Safety 32. Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety 33. VHA Inc.

"We are also very grateful to this year's Congress sponsors who have helped make this important conference possible," added Edgman-Levitan, who is executive director of the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Sponsors include Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Aon Healthcare Alliance, CIGNA HealthCare, Delmarva, Fairview Health System, GOAL/QPC, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente Foundation and the UnitedHealth Foundation.

Congress CE credits

Healthcare administrators, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and social workers who attend the Congress can earn a total of 14.5 hours of continuing education credits through the American College of Healthcare Executives, the California Board of Registered Nursing and the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences. See http://www.mederrors.org/certification.html for details.

About NPSF

The National Patient Safety Foundation was founded in 1996 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, 3M and contributions from the Schering-Plough Corp. An independent, nonprofit research and education organization, NPSF is an unprecedented partnership of healthcare practitioners, institutional providers, health product providers, health product manufacturers, researchers, legal advisors, patient/consumer advocates, regulators and policymakers committed to making healthcare safer for patients. Through leadership, research support and education, the NPSF is committed to making patient safety a national priority.

The NPSF Web site offers a variety of educational tools to help hospitals build partnerships with patients in their communities, and both teach and encourage patients to become more involved in their own health care.

NPSF's "Stand Up for Patient Safety" campaign helps hospitals and health systems both observe National Patient Safety Awareness Week and mobilize to take concerted action to reduce medical errors.

On the Net: NPSF site: http://www.npsf.org On the Net: Congress site: http://www.mederrors.org/program.html About Bridge

Bridge Medical Inc. -- an AmerisourceBergen company (NYSE:ABC) -- is headquartered in Solana Beach, Calif., and has been educating healthcare professionals about medication errors and their prevention since the company was founded in 1996.

AmerisourceBergen is based in Valley Forge, Penn. On the Net: Bridge Medical site: http://www.bridgemedical.com

CONTACT:          Bridge Medical
                  Carol Somer, 858/314-5538, Cell 858/204-7424
                  Carole Breckbill, 312/464-5672
                  Carol Lieser, 760/770-0288, Cell 760/578-5756