Sutter Health announces plan to deploy Bridge MedPoint error-prevention system

August 13, 2002

Sutter Health will hold news conferences this morning in Sacramento (10:30 am PST) and San Francisco (9:30 am PST) to announce it will deploy the Bridge MedPointTM patient safety system. Deployment is part of a major technology initiative designed to make each of Sutter's 26 hospitals "a hospital of the future" and address quality-improvement goals set by the Leapfrog Group, a national employer consortium.

Headquartered in Sacramento, the not-for-profit network of hospitals and physicians operates more than 5000 inpatient beds in Northern California.

"Patient safety and quality care are paramount at Sutter," said Sutter Health President and CEO Van R. Johnson. "We are fully committed to doing everything possible to improve quality, prevent medication and other errors, and promote practices and systems that ensure our patients' well-being."

MedPoint is an award-winning barcode-enabled point-of-care (BPOC) software system developed by Bridge Medical that prevents medication and other bedside errors.

"We are pleased to support Sutter's strong commitment to patient safety," said Bridge President and CEO John B. Grotting. "Sutter's contract with Bridge demonstrates their continued commitment to improving patient care through the innovative use of technology combined with the best clinical practices." Sutter is Bridge's first Northern California customer and largest customer to-date, and a leading user of advanced information and medical technology.

Added Johnson: "Our Bridge initiative is part of a $50 million investment in advanced technology that will enhance our ability to ensure Sutter patients the ultimate in safe bedside medication administration and quality ICU care."

Leapfrog applauds Sutter initiative

The Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), the consortium of Fortune 500 employers that is leading the Leapfrog effort in California, praised Sutter's commitment. "We applaud Sutter's investment in technology to improve patient safety," said PBGH President and CEO Peter Lee who was scheduled to join Sutter at the San Francisco press conference this morning.

"Research demonstrates that errors can be reduced and lives saved through bold system changes like these. Embarking on these initiatives will not only improve individual patient safety, but also encourage the entire healthcare industry to accelerate improvements in quality. We hope other hospitals follow Sutter's lead and recognize that investing in quality can pay off both for patients and in reducing costs."

Best-equipped BPOC

"Our information technology taskforce concluded MedPoint was the BPOC system best equipped to meet all our clinical and technical criteria," noted Sutter CIO and Information Systems VP John Hummel, whose work spearheading integration of numerous technologies throughout Sutter was recently recognized by Computerworld.

"Bridge has perfected its implementation process so that hospitals can deploy this sophisticated technology quickly, affordably and painlessly. The product's open technology and successful interface history were also major considerations. Extensively tested by hospitals around the country for years, MedPoint is perfect for hospitals that require their IT vendors to be team players."

Workplace of the future

"With MedPoint and other technological improvements in place, nurses will view Sutter hospitals as 'workplaces of the future' where they can feel more secure knowing a bedside safety net protects them and their patients from medication errors," explained Sutter Medical Center (Sacramento) Chief Nurse Executive Shelly McGriff, RN. "And MedPoint's electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) will reduce paperwork so nurses can devote more time to patient care."

Added Sutter Pharmacy VP Dean Inami, RPh, PharmD: "Everyone knows there's a national shortage of nurses, but hospital pharmacists are also in demand. MedPoint will help us continue to attract pharmacists savvy enough to choose a hospital that's invested in the best medication safety technology on the market today.

"In just the past decade, the number of drugs marketed in North America has grown 500 percent. Today, First Data Bank's National Drug Data File lists more than 100,000 pharmaceutical products, and our Sutter drug formulary includes more than 3,000 drugs. Pharmacists can access electronic reference material to aid review of medication orders, but until systems like MedPoint offered nurses similar data bank access at the bedside, nurses were generally kept in the dark. Bridge helps pharmacists feel more confident in their organization's ability to safely deliver today's myriad, complex and powerful medications.

"The 'MedPoint Five Rights Check' verifies that the drug, patient, dose, time and route of administration all match the medication order before the drug is administered. MedPoint then takes medication safety beyond the five rights to give nurses critical alerts about 'look-alike/sound-alike' and high-risk medications, maximum daily dose limits, allergies and other valuable information right at the bedside.

"With Bridge, we've done our utmost to help nurses avoid medication errors. No wonder several state hospital associations have endorsed MedPoint, and virtually every major healthcare organization--including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists--is lobbying the FDA to mandate barcodes on all hospital-dispensed drugs."
About Sutter

A leading not-for-profit network of community-based healthcare providers, Sutter Health delivers high-quality care in more than 100 Northern California communities with more than 30,000 employees. In addition to 26 hospitals that together care for more inpatients than any other network in Northern California, Sutter has relationships with more than 3,600 physicians, and is the regional leader in infant deliveries, neonatology, orthopedics, pediatrics and cancer care services. Sutter facilities support medical research facilities, regionwide home health, hospice, as well as occupational health networks and long-term care centers. For info, visit

About Bridge

Founded in 1996, Bridge Medical, Inc., is headquartered in Solana Beach, Calif. The company provides robust, affordable, easy-to-use technology-based patient safety solutions.

Bridge pioneered the use of barcode technology in healthcare, and has been honored for its patient safety solutions and educational initiatives.

For info, visit

PHOTOS: Photos of Sutter executives, and a photo demonstrating how MedPoint will be used at Sutter, available through Sutter PR. Photos of Bridge executives available from

Bridge Medical, Carol Somer, 858-314-5538, 888-578-0100 x5538, 703-593-5786 (cell) or
Sutter, Karen Garner, 916-286-8297,

MedPoint is a trademark of Bridge Medical, Inc. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Bridge Medical, Inc.

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