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Brief Case: Minnesota ‘green’ tech goes to Copenhagen; 4 state hospitals get high marks

Minneapolis-based Tennant Co. (NYSE: TNC) is using the gathering of the world’s climate change policymakers in Copenhagen to bring attention to itself and showcase two innovative “green” industrial-cleaning products.

The grounds around the COP 15 conference center will be kept tidy with a new exhaust-free, battery-powered outdoor sweeper, the 500ze, set to be formally launched in the first half of 2010.

In addition, company representatives scheduled a press event in Copenhagen last week to highlight a dirt-busting, supercharged water-cleaning system that garnered the European Business Award for Innovation in 2009. Tennant’s proprietary ec-H₂O technology electrically converts plain tap water into a powerful cleaning agent by temporarily altering the molecular structure of water.  Once activated, the water attracts dirt better than commonly used chemical detergents.

The ec-H₂O technology is available on all Tennant floor-scrubbing machines and is also licensed for use in a hand-held spray application by Activeion, LLC, of Rogers, Minn.

Business group honors 4 Minnesota hospitals
A group representing large purchasers of employee health care has given four Minnesota hospitals, along with 41 others nationwide, top marks for “delivering the best quality care in the nation while attaining the highest levels of efficiency.”

The Leapfrog Group cited Mayo Clinic’s Methodist Hospital and Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. In addition, Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix made the list. The rating is based on a voluntary survey completed by 1,206 hospitals across the country.

“Not all hospitals make the top hospital list, but every hospital that participates in Leapfrog deserves credit,” said David Knowlton, Chair of The Leapfrog Group and president & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. “They are fundamentally changing the hospital market into one that is highly responsive to the quality, cost and value needs of consumers and large buyers of health care.”

The Leapfrog Group was founded in 2000 by the Business Roundtable to use “the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans,” according to the organization website.

It is now independently operated with support from its members. The organization describes the Leapforg Hospital Survey as “the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care.”

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