How LenexaCARE compares to current Pressure Injury Prevention standards.

How LenexaCARE compares to current Pressure Injury Prevention standards.

Body

Pressure injuries affect millions of people worldwide, extending the length of hospitalisations, causing severe pain, discomfort, as well as financial burden on patients and their families. The cost of treating Hospital Acquired Pressure Injuries has been recently reported to cost Australian Public Hospitals an estimated $983 million per year (1). Although there exists current prevention initiatives, pressure injuries still remain a very concerning health problem, with more than 400,000 cases in Australia every year (1), with the number of incidents expected to grow in the coming years (2).

What is Pressure Injury?

Pressure injury or sometimes called bedsore / pressure ulcer is an area of injured skin that usually results from pressure that is often combined with friction. Pressure injuries can occur in patients after as little as one hour spent immobile on a surface, putting many patients in ICUs, surgeries, long-stay wards and aged-care facilities at risk. Therefore, it usually happens in patients that are with limited mobility or inability to move, the elderly, those with malnutrition, even those with prosthetic limbs. Pressure injuries often happen in the bony parts of the body like hips, tailbone, elbow, heels, head, and ankles (6). As it takes a long time to heal, PIs can have a big impact on the patient’s quality of life, as it can cause severe pain, and can involve sleep / mood disturbance as well as susceptibility to infection (3). If left untreated, pressure injuries can be life-threatening if it becomes a deep wound and gets infected. In the long term, the infection could also spread to other parts of the body, causing greater consequences like (6):

– Cellulitis – an infection of the skin

– Osteomyelitis – an infection of the  bone

– Bacteremia – an infection of the blood

– Meningitis – an infection of the brain and spinal cord

– Endocarditis – and infection of the heart

Not only does it affect the patient and their quality of life, it is also a big financial burden to the caregiver, family, and the healthcare system or the hospital as well. Early-stage PIs are easy to miss, and the current methods of detection and patient care are subjective and often inaccurate. If left to progress, PIs extend the length of hospital stays by an average of 4 days, adding an additional $18,000 in treatment and bed day expenses for each patient. In Australia alone, pressure injuries cost our public hospital sector more than $9 billion every year (1).

Existing PI Prevention Strategies

Recognising the frequency of pressure injuries and the horrible impact that it causes to the patients and their caregivers across hospitals, prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of pressure injuries should be a global priority that needs to be given a focus on. Many health officials and organisations have tried to raise the awareness of PIs and create various prevention methods to avoid them. Luckily, current practices have been shown to be effective in reducing the occurrence of pressure injuries, but unfortunately, these practices are not used systematically in all hospitals.

 

According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (3), current PI prevention strategies include:

– Re-positioning and/or mobilising regularly 

– Reducing pressure, friction, or shear 

– Managing pain 

– Protecting skin, reducing moisture and optimising skin hygiene and temperature 

– Providing adequate nutrition and hydration 

– Managing continence

These methods, although effective to a certain extent, mostly need to be done manually and regularly by the nurses – require a lot of time and effort from the already busy and burdened healthcare workers who can’t be expected to have that much time to perform all of those strategies mentioned above. 

The available and recommended protocols provided require a lot of time and effort from healthcare workers that initially already have such heavy workloads. As a result, the current strategies are sometimes still hard to implement by the nurses. According to a study published in BMC Nursing, 98% of the nurses that participated reported that they had a negative attitude about the standard PI prevention protocol, mostly due to the heavy workload, inadequate staff, and shortage/inadequate devices and equipment (4). 

Other than the prevention strategies mentioned above, there are some current technology inventions that have been used to aid in the current PI prevention protocol including the use of dynamic  air mattresses. Dynamic air mattresses are used to prevent PI by circulating air cells in a specific motion to deflate and inflate the mattress and relieve pressure on the body. Dynamic air mattresses may be a step forward in comparison to the historic pressure injury protocols, however they also come with various cons. This includes a generic timer-based rhythm to which pressure is relieved, not taking into account specific patient positioning or patient areas of concern.  In comparison, LenexaCARE is able to detect and monitor the patient’s position over time whilst pinpointing the areas of highest relative pressure, therefore, a nurse or caregiver is able to work smarter and adjust the patient according to their own level of mobility and risk profile. 

It’s a common misconception that you can simply place patients on an air mattress and you no longer need to do regular turning and repositioning. According to the International Pressure Injury Guidelines, there is a lot more to do. The International Guidelines as set by EPUAP, NPIAP and PPPIA suggest that the patient should be repositioned regardless of any technology used. The patient should have an individual and customised repositioning regime (5), something that the LenexaCARE system facilitates.

LenexaCARE

In a tweet by @DrKate_Miller, she writes “Today I have seen pressure injuries I’ve not seen in ten years,” alluding to the fact that pressure injuries are on the rise. Nurses in the comments have banded together to come to some sort of explanation to this rise, with multiple nurses saying it’s due to “resources” and “not enough nurses,” with ultimately the majority agreeing that “Pressure injury prevention is key to making sure we protect and preserve optimal patient outcomes.” 

“Reducing preventable pressure injuries and stopping the progression of Stage 1 pressure injuries will likely result in an immense cost-saving for Australia and will likely have similar benefits for other countries with comparable profiles” (1)

Realising the significance of this issue, Lenexa Medical provides a solution to help healthcare workers, hospitals, and patients to further prevent pressure injuries from happening. 

 

We have developed LenexaCARE – a patient-centred technology that utilises:

– In-built sensing capabilities 

– Smart software for real-time monitoring

– Fabric-based sensor technology

– Personalised offloading strategies and timing

– Nurse call and facility integration

 

Our innovative technology will help the progress of pressure injuries prevention strategies, reduce financial burden to the family of patients and healthcare system, increase the quality of life, lessen the heavy workload of the healthcare workers, and save lives.

 

Why LenexaCARE?

 

At Lenexa Medical, we seek to solve this global problem by enabling personalised connected care. 

Our solution is a continuous-care patient monitoring and management system that converts a traditional hospital mattress into a patient monitoring platform. It provides busy healthcare staff with the information they need to effectively manage PI care before they begin to develop. 

 

We are developing an end-to-end patient-centred solution for hospitals and aged care facilities: a comprehensive patient monitoring system that can monitor and alert clinicians and carers about patient position, posture and presence during the entirety of their hospital stay. This technology can minimise the cost of pressure injuries to the healthcare system worldwide.

 

Comprising a patented integrated fabric-based sensor, user interface and AI software, the technology is personalised to each patient, with real time pressure profile and position information communicated to staff to enable targeted and timely PI prevention.

 

Our technology will provide clinicians with non-subjective data to monitor patient position over time and indicate where the patient’s specific pressure areas are; effectively saving nurses’ time while providing accurate personalised data to enable early interventions and prevent pressure injuries from developing. 

 

“This info would be useful as we don’t know how long patients have been in certain positions or how often they have turned.” – Nurse feedback at a clinical trial of our LenexaCARE technology.

 

Our technologies not only make quality healthcare more affordable by easing the financial burdens on hospitals and patients but also aim to empower clinicians and carers to deliver a better standard of care.

An end-to-end solution, the technology not only has the potential to improve the quality of patient care, but could also become an effective cost-saving measure. Together, we can work towards improving Australia’s healthcare system.

 

To learn more about Lenexa Medical, visit https://www.lenexamedical.com/

Partner with us, https://www.lenexamedical.com/invest/

 

Reference
  1. Nghiem, S., Campbell, J., Walker, R.M., Byrnes, J., & Chaboyer, W. Pressure injury in Australian public hospitals: a cost-of-illness study. International Journal of Nursing Studies. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2022.104191
  2. Team, V, Tuck, M, Reeves, J, et al. Pressure injury data in Australian acute care settings: A comparison of three data sets. Int Wound J. 2020; 17: 578– 586. https://doi.org/10.1111/iwj.13320
  3. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare. Pressure Injuries. Hospital Acquired Complication. (2020). https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-05/saq7730_hac_factsheet_pressureinjury_longv2.pdf
  4. Etafa, W., Argaw, Z., Gemechu, E. et al. Nurses’ attitude and perceived barriers to pressure ulcer prevention. BMC Nurs 17, 14 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-018-0282-2
  5. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel and Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline. The International Guideline. Emily Haesler (Ed.). EPUAP/NPIAP/PPPIA: 2019.

Cleveland Clinic. Pressure Injuries (Bedsores). (2018). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17823-pressure-injuries-bedsores

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