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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- CareFusion and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois today announced that 23 hospitals have formed the Illinois Hospital Quality Initiative (IHQI), a partnership created to improve clinical outcomes and cut health care costs by reducing health care-associated infections and medication errors. CareFusion (NYSE: CFN) is a global, medical device company that specializes in patient safety technologies.

Each year, nearly one in 20 patients acquires an infection in U.S. hospitals and almost 100,000 people die as a result. Such infections cost U.S. hospitals some $35 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC estimates that up to $31.5 billion of costs could be prevented through the deployment of specific prevention methods and technology.

In addition to the Illinois effort, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its client hospitals partner with MedMined™ services of CareFusion in six other statewide hospital quality initiatives – Alabama, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas – that encompass more than 150 hospitals. Some statewide partnerships have realized up to a 19 percent reduction in health care-associated infections, leading to millions of health care dollars saved and thousands of lives protected.

"The IHQI partnership addresses both the human and economic impact of health care-associated infections and enhances our commitment as a community hospital to provide a safe environment for our patients," said Sister Donna Marie, C.R., executive vice president and CEO ofResurrection Medical Center in Chicago. "In today's environment, the prevention and management of infection is one of the most important factors we deal with in order to provide a safe healing environment for patients. MedMined services enable us to transition from traditional, targete

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