Health Systems Proactively Preparing for Zika Last Updated: October 6, 2016
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Premier Inc. survey of healthcare C-suite finds hospitals are educating staff and patients, implementing clinical best practices, and screening, monitoring and reporting Zika cases

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  — Avoiding a wait-and-see approach, a new Premier Inc. (NASDAQ:PINC) survey provides a snapshot of how hospitals and health systems are taking steps to prepare for the possibility of a Zika outbreak.

Premier, a leading healthcare improvement company, surveyed health system C-suite leaders to understand what actions they are taking to invest in and implement services to prepare for Zika, such as patient education, staff training, screening tools, surveillance and reporting platforms, and the implementation of clinical best practices for Zika patients.

“As we monitor the implications for the possible spread of Zika in the U.S., health system leaders aren’t waiting on the sidelines and have begun taking action to ensure the proper infrastructure and procedures are in place to address this emerging public health issue,” said Gina Pugliese, RN, MS, vice president of the Premier Inc. Safety Institute®. “Premier supports these efforts and is helping assist providers in effective planning to prepare for delivering high-quality care to those who are affected. Even since we concluded the survey, many of our members have shared with us the additional steps they are taking to be ready for the unique needs of patients impacted by Zika.”

The following key findings from the survey highlight interventions that respondents have included in their Zika preparation efforts, which strongly align with key recommendations established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Surveillance and reporting: Nearly 74 percent of respondents have begun to establish processes to screen and monitor patients, and report Zika cases to public health departments. Nearly 40 percent report that surveillance and tracking systems are near full implementation or already fully implemented.
  • Screening at-risk individuals: 53 percent of respondents say they have begun the planning process of implementing Zika screening and testing in pregnant women.
  • Patient education: 77 percent have begun plans to provide advice and guidance to women of childbearing age about potential risks associated with travel to areas with ongoing Zika transmission.
  • Staff education: 76 percent report to have begun initial efforts to educate clinical staff about precautions to take when caring for mothers with Zika during labor and delivery.
  • Follow-up protocol for Zika patients: 53 percent of respondents have begun developing follow-up care protocols for pregnant women diagnosed with Zika virus infection.
  • Managing Zika prep efforts: 50 percent say they have begun to assign responsibilities or have already created staff leads to coordinate Zika preparation.

Safety solutions and services powered by Premier’s performance improvement platform PremierConnect® can help providers target infectious disease outbreaks.

“Through real-time surveillance and screening protocols, PremierConnect Safety provides alerts for emerging infections and viruses like Zika” said Michelle Allen, vice president of safety at Premier. “Once a case is identified, providers can use the platform to streamline the documentation process and report cases to public health agencies, as well as receive assistance with clinical decision support.”

Additionally, the Premier Safety Institute offers tools and resources from trusted sources, including the CDC, to keep hospitals and health systems informed of the latest developments on Zika transmission. Premier has also worked closely with the CDC and Johns Hopkins University to co-host educational webinars for providers on Zika preparedness.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online, with the results based off responses of 60 healthcare C-suite leaders (CEO, COO, CMO, CFO, CIO or CTIO) during June 8 – July 25, 2016. Participants were selected and invited to join the panel by Premier prior to survey administration.

About Premier Inc.

Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,750 U.S. hospitals and more than 130,000 other provider organizations. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Premier’s blog for more information about the company.


Amanda Forster, Premier, Inc.   |   |   202.879.8004
Morgan Guthrie, Premier, Inc.   |   |   704.816.4152