• MediServe Incorporates AARC Uniform Reporting Manual
MediServe Information Systems Inc, Tempe, Ariz, announced an agreement with the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) to integrate the 2004 update of the AARC Uniform Reporting Manual (URM) for Hospitals into MediServe’s MediLinks respiratory care information system.

The data contained in the URM include respiratory procedure time standards, statistical data for each standard, guidance for the assignment of billing codes, and references to applicable AARC clinical practice guidelines. MediServe will offer reports using the URM values in a future version of MediLinks.

“The integration of AARC time standards into MediLinks software will give our clients a greater ability to benchmark staff productivity and performance,” said Bruce Newman, vice president of professional services, MediServe Information Systems. “Capturing key data in our system as a by-product of therapist electronic charting, in combination with the AARC standards, will enable our automated reporting capabilities to provide an even greater contribution to department staffing and budget forecasts.”

• International Technidyne Upgrades Operating Software
International Technidyne Corp (ITC), Edison, NJ, recently updated its operating software for the company’s IRMA TRUpoint™ point-of-care blood gas monitoring system and is set to integrate the software with the RALS-Plus data management system.

The software update offers IRMA TRUpoint users improved connectivity options, expanded user and patient identification capabilities, and special quality control features. RALS-Plus will enable IRMA TRUpoint users to automatically manage, report, and electronically transfer patient monitoring data for blood gases, electrolytes, and blood chemistries to the RALS-Plus database and the hospital’s laboratory information system.

“Our customers wanted a connectivity solution,” said ITC President Lawrence Cohen. “The ability to interface the IRMA system with the versatile and widely used RALS-Plus offers fast, efficient, and convenient reporting and transmission of critical care patient testing data.”

Smiths Group Acquires Medex Inc
Smiths Group, Keene, NH, announced that it has agreed to acquire the privately held US medical device company, Medex Inc, in a transaction that will greatly enhance the presence of Smiths Medical in the United States and international markets for devices used in critical care.

“Medex is a first rate company, is an excellent strategic fit, and we have secured it at a good price,” said Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, chief executive of Smiths. “This transaction is a significant step in the continuing evolution of Smiths and moves us into the medical devices big league.”

Medex is a leading supplier of infusion equipment used in critical care, specializing in intravenous infusion catheters, which prevent needle-stick injuries. Its products are complementary with the Smiths Medical range, selling to the same customer base in hospitals and other health care locations. Headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif, Medex employs approximately 2,000 people, including 1,100 in the United States. The US operations are located in Ohio, Illinois, Connecticut, and Georgia, with additional plants in Mexico, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Smiths will pay the current owners of Medex $625 million in cash for the company’s equity, subject to any closing adjustment, and will assume approximately $300 million of net debt. In a full year, the addition of Medex will increase the sales of Smiths Medical by around a third and profits by almost half.

Through this transaction, Smiths expects to generate significant additional sales of both Smiths Medical and Medex products. Geographically, two thirds of Medex’s sales are made in North America; and, while the company has already successfully established a presence in Europe, there is considerable opportunity to take its products more widely into world markets through Smiths Medical International. The Medex products will also increase Smiths’ presence at a number of important customer call points, especially infection control departments, intensive care units, and respiratory departments.

“This is a great opportunity for Smiths Medical,” said Lawrence Kinet, board member for the division. “Annual sales will be approaching $1.25 billion, and we become more competitive by offering a wider range of products. We’ll have a greater presence in critical care, especially in safety devices, and we can use our global network to take the Medex range into new markets where we know there is strong demand.”

Respironics Introduces Neonatal CPAP System
Respironics Inc, Murrysville, Pa, recently unveiled the NeoPAP™ Neonatal CPAP System, which provides low levels of pressure to assist breathing in newborn infants with respiratory difficulties.

“The NeoPAP is the newest extension of noninvasive ventilation solutions from the Respironics Hospital Division, and the device represents one more of the many benefits to respiratory care delivery that have resulted from the synergies between Caradyne Ltd and Respironics,” said John O’Dea, plant manager, Respironics Ireland Ltd, part of the Respironics Hospital Division. Respironics acquired Caradyne in March.

The NeoPAP uses a servo-controlled delivery system called Baby-Trak™ to regulate the low levels of pressurized air and oxygen to help neonates with a wide range of respiratory difficulties, including respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). The delivery of the air/oxygen mixture can be adjusted from 0 cm to 10 cm H2O pressure and with a flow generation capacity up to 20 L/min. The NeoPAP also employs high-performance humidification technology, which delivers optimal humidification and warming that increase patient comfort, provide a minimal “rain-out,” and help lessen crusting around the patient interface. “The NeoPAP utilizes significant improvements in design and technology to move the pressure generation apparatus away from the newborn’s face, which may improve comfort and reduce the risk of leaks and septal damage,” said Steve Birch, senior product manager, noninvasive ventilation, Hospital Division.

“We believe it [NeoPap] will have a positive impact on significantly improving neonatal comfort and quality of care,” O’Dea said. “With our sister division, Children’s Medical Ventures, we are looking forward to demonstrating the unique benefits of this system to respiratory therapists and neonatal caregivers.”