VA Presentation Shows How Wireless Patient Monitoring System Improves Pressure Ulcer Prevention Process

PLEASANTON, CA -- Clinicians from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, will demonstrate that Leaf Healthcare's new, wireless patient monitoring system can significantly improve a caregiver's pressure ulcer prevention processes. Their presentation will take place at the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) Biennial Conference in Orlando, Fla., this week.

The VA team will present a poster entitled "Look Who's Turning," which is based on nearly 3,300 hours of turn data collected using the Leaf Patient Monitoring system deployed at a medical/surgical unit at the Boise facility. After unit nurses were trained on how to use information from the system, compliance with the center's patient turning protocols exceeded 90 percent. National studies have found that compliance typically ranges from 15 percent to 66 percent.i ii iii iv

"We expected the sensors to help us increase compliance with patient turn protocols," said Margaret Doucette, DO, lead author of the poster. "But we found the Leaf system also enabled us to deploy our clinicians more effectively to improve patient care. Leaf monitoring has reduced the resource burden required for patient turning by roughly 80 percent without compromising care or pressure ulcer prevention efforts. That ensures we provide the highest quality care, while allowing us to contain costs."

Dr. Doucette, who is chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and director for Wound Care at the Boise Center, said the facility's turn protocols have been rewritten to include the use of Leaf technology and that the system's metrics will become part of the center's monthly nursing quality criteria.

"We are pleased that the VA Medical Center in Boise found Leaf technology useful in its efforts to prevent pressure ulcers," said Mark Smith, vice president, sales and marketing at Leaf Healthcare. "Nurses and hospitals are searching for innovative ways to reduce pressure ulcers – which affect more than 2.5 million U.S. patients each year – and this presentation provides valuable insights into how that can be accomplished."

Institution-acquired pressure ulcers are a leading threat to modern quality healthcare. Research by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that pressure ulcers cost the nation's healthcare system more than $11 billion a year. The condition is both excruciatingly painful for patients and costly for providers since it is considered preventable and, therefore, does not qualify for reimbursement by government and other payers.

To help healthcare providers reduce these costs – while improving patient safety and clinical outcomes – Leaf creates wireless patient monitoring solutions.

The Leaf system is comprised 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 FDA 510(k).

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