Sonosite Presents New Emerging Evidence On Cost And Safety Benefits From Bedside Ultrasound Use

May 26, 2011

Largest Study Documents the Benefits of "Ultrasound Guided" Procedures: Paracentesis & Thoracentesis

Results Show Substantial Improvements in Complications and Large Potential Impact on Cost of Care for Hospitals:

Fewer patients with collapsed lungs, bleeding complications, and decreased length of stay in hospital

BOTHELL, WA - May 26, 2011 - SonoSite, Inc. (Nasdaq:SONO), the world leader and specialist in bedside ultrasound for point-of-care medicine, today announced that Diku Mandavia, MD, SonoSite's Chief Medical Officer, will present two new research studies that define the economic value of point-of-care visualization in reducing medical errors, complications and costs in patients who underwent a paracentesis or thoracentesis, two commonly performed needle-based procedures in the hospital. This is the first and largest study to compare the economic and safety benefits of patients who received a thoracentesis or paracentesis with and without ultrasound guidance. This robust study was completed by the United BioSource Corporation (UBC), a global scientific and medical affairs organization that generate real-world evidence to assist healthcare decisions and enhance patient care. Researchers from the UBC Center for Epidemiology and Database Analytics used the national Premier Perspective® automated hospitalization claims database to access thousands of patient's records in over 600 hospitals from across the country.

Dr. Mandavia will present the evidence at the National Patient Safety Foundation's (NPSF) 2011 Patient Safety Congress, which is one of the most recognized patient safety forums in the United States. C-Suite executives, patient safety officers, clinical leadership, government agencies and research groups will be in attendance. The Congress is being held on May 25-27th at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, D.C.

"This is an important time for bedside point-of-care ultrasound as this new evidence marks the beginning of a significant body of work pointing to cost and safety gains in acute care settings," said Dr. Mandavia. "In this era of healthcare reform, the benefits from visual ultrasound guidance at the bedside are truly gaining momentum. New policies are being initiated around the world that will hold hospitals more accountable for medical errors, which has caused an increased focus to reduce costs and improve patient safety across all departments in the hospital."

Dr. Mandavia continued, "This data also supports an ongoing standardization trend in many large health systems where our SonoSite systems are being integrated into safety protocols in pursuit of a ‘zero' complications goal. In fact, we recently observed our first major health system initiative in recognizing a ‘certified zero award' to clinical sites that eliminated certain complications for a full-year. This is inspiring and we look forward to supporting more health care groups in achieving the same level of patient safety success."

Research Study Highlights: Thoracentesis - For the 61,261 patients included in the analysis who underwent a thoracentesis, ultrasound guidance reduced the incidence of a pneumothorax by 19%. This complication increased a patient's hospital cost to $13,784, compared to $11,032 for a patient who didn't suffer a collapsed lung. In addition, the mean length of hospital stay was 7.9 days for a patient with a pneumothorax, versus 6.5 days for a patient without it. Paracentesis - For the 69,859 patients who underwent a paracentesis, suffering a bleeding complication boosted hospital costs to nearly $30,000, about triple the cost for patients without a complication ($9,476) and length of hospital stay almost doubled, from a mean of 5.2 days for a patient without a bleeding complication to a mean of 9.5 days for a patient with one. Please click here to access abstracts from the research study. About SonoSite SonoSite, Inc. (www.sonosite.com) is the innovator and world leader in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound and an industry leader in ultra high-frequency micro-ultrasound technology and impedance cardiography equipment. Headquartered near Seattle, the company is represented by fourteen subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 100 countries. SonoSite's small, lightweight systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high-performance ultrasound to the point of patient care.

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