Southeast Alabama Medical Center Joins Premier, Inc.'s Quality Improvement Collaborative

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) of Dothan, Alabama has joined Premier, Inc.'s QUEST® collaborative of nearly 350 providers that are setting new standards of healthcare excellence.

SAMC is a 420-bed health system and regional referral center serving approximately 600,000 people across southeast Alabama, southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Representing virtually every medical specialty, SAMC's medical staff is also more than 90 percent board-certified compared to the national average of about 80 percent.

The health system will share its data and best practices with other QUEST hospitals and health systems to develop innovative ways to reduce mortality and costs, and improve safety, patient/family engagement, quality and the delivery of evidence-based care.

"Our SAMC staff is dedicated to providing quality healthcare to our patients and reaching into the community to promote wellness," said Ronald S. Owen, SAMC's CEO. "QUEST members have proven that data-driven, evidence-based medicine improves medical outcomes for patients and reduces costs. We're pleased to join the other QUEST health systems. I believe the SAMC staff working with our physicians will continue to provide advancements in quality, efficiency and safety in healthcare services."

SAMC has been a Premier owner for more than 15 years, using its supply chain services. For nearly 10 years it has accessed Premier's QualityAdvisor™ and OperationsAdvisor® performance improvement solutions to integrate and compare clinical, financial and operational data with alliance members across the U.S. Both solutions are also used to further support QUEST members in accessing valuable information to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care.

"QUEST standards of top performance have been implemented at hospitals of various sizes, geographies and teaching statuses, including disproportionate share and safety net facilities," said Wes Champion, senior vice president of Premier Performance Partners. "We welcome SAMC to the collaborative and look forward to working with them to further spread innovative practices that accelerate healthcare transformation in America."

QUEST members access Premier's performance improvement solutions on its integrated technology and social networking platform, PremierConnect™. The platform aggregates patient data on 1 in 4 U.S. hospital discharges, evidence-based best practices from 2.5 million daily clinical transactions and approximately $40 billion in annual provider purchases. It enables providers to interact in real-time and ensure best practices are being implemented nationwide.

About Southeast Alabama Medical Center

With 420 beds, SAMC is the largest hospital in the Wiregrass with approximately 300 physicians on the medical staff supported by more than 2,500 hospital employees. The not-for-profit hospital is owned and operated by the Houston County Health Care Authority. As the Tri-State referral center, the hospital's central location makes it easily accessible to more than 600,000 residents. The hospital's academic division, the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, is the state's first osteopathic medical school. The Medical Center is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama Tier 1 Provider with additional recognition in cardiac and stroke care, including the state's first telemedicine network which was created to provide faster, more effective treatment in the early stages of a stroke. SAMC is ranked in the top 10 percent in Alabama for overall hospital, medical and surgical care by CARECHEX (New South Research, November 2013). www.samc.org.

About Premier, Inc.

Premier, Inc. (Nasdaq:PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 2,900 U.S. hospitals and nearly 100,000 other providers to transform healthcare. 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 www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare and Premier's blog for more information about the company.

CONTACT: Alven Weil, Premier, Inc. Alven_Weil@PremierInc.com, 704.816.5797

Source:Premier, Inc.