Tuesday, 11 November 2014

EU Health Systems Can Do More to Prevent Pressure Ulcers, Says New Deloitte Study

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bruin Biometrics' SEM Scanner is named in Deloitte's new study titled "Do Healthcare Systems Promote the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers?" as part of the solution to this preventable, but growing problem.

Pressure ulcers affect between 9 percent and 11 percent of patients in hospital and long-term care facilities and pose an incredible burden to the European health system in terms of financial cost and unnecessary patient suffering. Deloitte estimates that one pressure ulcer can result in an additional 10 in-patient days and €10,500 in direct costs during a single hospital admission. In the U.K., economic burden is in the range of £1.4 - £2.1B – a cost largely borne by hospitals and providers.

The study – which includes 42 interviews with academics, clinical staff, nursing care directors and payers throughout Europe – identifies three systemic issues which can be immediately addressed. First, current initiatives, policies and financial incentives are predominantly focused on treatment, rather than prevention. Initiatives are not effectively coordinated across front-line clinicians, health system management, and broader health policy to drive the systemic changes in care that are necessary. Finally, clinicians cite available methods for early detection as inadequate, with too much reliance on clinicians' visual inspection. Collectively, these findings challenge the healthcare community to work together to adopt innovative policies and technologies, such as the SEM Scanner, to shift the clinical focus from treatment to prevention.

"Pressure ulcers are not just a significant financial burden, they take an enormous toll on the health and longevity of millions of patients who needlessly experience significant pain and suffering as a result," said Martin Burns, CEO, Bruin Biometrics. "We're honored to have Deloitte showcase the SEM Scanner. Our technology offers nurses a desperately needed tool to confirm the existence of early stage pressure ulcers. Our goal is to support clinicians with the information they need to make pressure ulcer prevention possible."

As a contributing cause of community-acquired infections, such as sepsis and MRSA, pressure ulcers have risen to the national health agenda for many countries. UK Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, recently renewed his focus on the NHS' inadequate patient safety record, citing pressure ulcers as one of four medical errors that are contributing to the wastage of £2.5 billion annually. Litigation is on the rise in the U.K., and according to the Deloitte report, current U.S. benchmarks show more than 90 percent of pressure ulcer-related lawsuits settled against the care provider.

To view the report and Deloitte's recommendations that include using new tools for early, objective detection – specifically, Bruin Biometrics' SEM Scanner, currently in limited release in the U.K. – visit Deloitte's website.


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