How El Camino reduced pressure sores

August 11, 2014 in Medical Technology

El Camino Hospital, known for its advanced use of health information technology, is using wireless technology to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers for patients. Pressure ulcers — often called bedsores — have been one of the most elusive problems hospitals across the nation are attempting to solve.

El Camino tapped Leaf Patient Monitoring system to help prevent hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by monitoring the position and movement of patients susceptible to bedsores.

El Camino started by conducting a six month-long, 138-patient study of the monitoring system. The study showed what El Camino executives view as “dramatic improvement in compliance with the hospital’s patient turn protocols.” Turning patients regularly is the one of the most effect ways to prevent pressure sores.

Baseline data showed turn compliance was at about 64 percent. When the full system was deployed, turn compliance increased to 98 percent.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that pressure ulcers affect more than 2.5 million U.S. patients annually, and their treatment typically prolongs a hospital stay by nearly two weeks. Globally, they contribute to 60,000 deaths a year. Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers are a leading threat to quality, modern healthcare. Research shows that pressure ulcers cost the nation’s healthcare system more than $11 billion each year.

“El Camino Hospital takes pride in our application of technology to improve both patient safety and the quality of care we provide by reducing pressure ulcers to those most at risk,” said Chris Tarver, RN, director of Medical Surgical Services, in a statement.

The Leaf system is composed of a small, lightweight, wearable sensor that electronically monitors a patient’s position and movements. Data collected by the sensor is communicated wirelessly to central monitoring stations or mobile devices so that caregivers can check on patient position and movement. The system provides alerts when necessary to ensure that all patients wearing a Leaf Sensor are repositioned according to their prescribed turning schedules to reduce incidence of pressure ulcers. The device has been cleared for sale by the FDA.

“Our goal is to help healthcare providers end the risk of pressure ulcers that threaten patient care,” said Mark Weckwerth, Leaf Healthcare CEO, in a prepared statement. “We are proud that a recognized healthcare technology leader like El Camino Hospital has tested our system and confirmed its value as a tool to enhance patient safety and improve patient care.”

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