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Medical devices

Baxter donates $2.5 million for patient safety R&D

TORONTO – Baxter Corporation has made a landmark investment of $2.5 million to support the development of safer medical technologies at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, based at University Health Network.

Baxter’s funding will support the Centre’s Human Healthcare Factors Group, a team of elite researchers who design user-friendly and supportive medical environments, processes, tools, and technologies. The group’s goal is to make the healthcare system safer for everyone – a mission they share with Baxter.

“At Baxter, we strive to develop products that help save and sustain lives,” said Barbara M. Leavitt, President, Baxter Corporation. “We are committed to pioneering innovation in healthcare for Canadians and are working to bring the next generation of safer health technologies to life through our investments in critical and innovative research.

“We are excited by the work currently under way by researchers at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation to develop technologies that will help provide a safer healthcare environment for patients and clinicians.”

The funding received from Baxter, over 10 years, will establish the Baxter Chair in Health Technology. Dr. Tony Easty (pictured), former Senior Director of Medical Engineering at UHN, will be the inaugural chairholder. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Easty has built a legacy of exemplary leadership in the field of clinical engineering and was instrumental in the creation of the Healthcare Human Factors Group.

“Baxter’s investment will fuel our team’s research into improving the safety of health technologies in clinical use,” said Dr. Easty. “Although safety research has been a high priority for many years in industries such as aviation, its application to health technology is recent. We need a better understanding of how errors occur, and what steps can be taken to mitigate these errors.”

The Human Healthcare Factors Group is comprised of biomedical and human factors engineers, cognitive psychologists, and healthcare providers, and is the only such team in Canada. Their work to date has already changed the approach that healthcare institutions are taking to the implementation of safer medication delivery systems and this fall, they will be announcing the results of a major study on improving the safety of ambulatory intravenous chemotherapy in Canada.

About Baxter Corporation
As a subsidiary of Baxter International Inc., Baxter Corporation manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information:

About Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as for their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. The Foundation’s vision is to enable global leadership and innovation in health by developing and sustaining strong relationships with University Health Network stakeholders. For more information:

About University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, and genomic medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information:

Posted October 7, 2010