Digital Mobility Monitoring Could Assist With Preventing Pressure Ulcers
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: News
A report published recently by the European Commission on preventing pressure ulcers states that 4-17% of patients are exposed to some degree to the effects of pressure ulcers and 44-50% of these are preventable. There are two key factors that are currently being reviewed in relation to pressure ulcers. One of these is that currently £1.4-2.1bn, or 4% of spending on health, is going on the treatment of pressure ulcers in Britain alone. The second is how can the prevention of pressure ulcers be more cost effective?
The incidence of pressure ulcers isn’t the same internationally. While the incidence in Britain is allegedly 4.51% so far in 2018, in Germany in 2016 the incidence was just 0.4%. It was also revealed that in some British hospital departments it reached a level of between 7 and 38%.
International experts have recommended that anyone who enters hospital should be subjected to risk assessment. This should be based on the mobility or immobility at the time of the patient. Once this has been determined, an individual care plan should be put in place to help minimise a pressure ulcer developing.
It’s important that anyone who carries out a risk assessment is trained to do so and is able to use one of the risk scales available, such as the Braden, Norton or Waterloo scales. Unfortunately, a 2015 study found that up to 30% of patients are judged incorrectly in relation to their immobility. This is because it was assumed they could reposition themselves without help while asleep but in fact they weren’t able to do so.
Sometimes, this is due to the type of medication the patient has been prescribed which may or may not affect mobility while asleep. One of the solutions that is yet to be used is digital monitoring of mobility.
What is digital monitoring of mobility?
This is a contact-free sensor which is put out of sight beneath the patient’s mattress. It transmits useful data on how mobile the patient is 24/7. This helps to determine the precise risk for the patient due to immobility. It also sends out a message when risk is greatest so something can be done about it as required. The trials on this device in 2015 showed that the patient’s quality of sleep improved if the Mobility Monitor® system was put in place. An addition to the use of the device was that it emitted an alert if a patient was just about top fall out of bed.
Many publications and studies have revealed that monitoring mobility through digital devices has shown the results that the algorithm can tell the difference between movements in patients which are to do with relieving pressure and those that are not.
Using the digital monitoring system has indicated that there is a significant reduction in pressure sore incidence. There is some agreement that positive results can also be due to the skill levels of staff and the decisions they make for the patient based on the data received through the digital device.
Strategies to use to prevent pressure sores
The right patients need to be identified as at risk. This can be achieved using the digital monitoring device because it picks up the patient’s movements throughout the night so staff can act accordingly. So far, 30 percent of at risk patients have been identified using this method which could have been left unnoticed. If a patient is able to move to a certain degree while in bed then this maybe enough to ensure that pressure sores don’t develop.
The digital monitoring device provides information showing exactly when the patient seems unable to move. This is when staff jump in to help ensure movement takes place because this is the starting point for managing and preventing the patient’s chance of developing pressure ulcers.
What’s the likely economic outcome of digital monitoring of mobility?
It goes without saying that if falls and ulcers can be reduced or prevented, then hospital stays will be reduced and money saved by the health care provider. It could also reduce the chance of a medical facility being sued for lack of care provided to a patient.
If you or one of the members of your family has suffered from treatable pressure sores while in a medical facility you may have the right to file for personal injury compensation from the person or institution that failed to provide the duty of care required by law.