Pleasanton, Calif. (June 6, 2016) — Responding to the growing use of early patient mobility protocols to improve outcomes, reduce costs and encourage early hospital discharges, Leaf Healthcare is developing new technology that will enable clinicians to consistently assess the progress their patients are making.
Each year, billions of unreimbursed healthcare dollars are spent treating complications related to patient immobility. While hospitals have broadly adopted policies to get patients moving as soon as possible during their hospitalization, the major impediment to such efforts is that historically there has been no way to reliably, objectively, and automatically monitor patient mobility.
Leaf, maker of the award-winning Leaf Wireless Patient Monitoring System, is currently piloting enhancements to its wearable sensor-based system that will accurately monitor patient movement and the progress of patient mobility. This will give healthcare providers the analytical tools they need to assess each patient's progress.
"Not long ago, bed rest was considered therapeutic. Today we're much more sensitive to the potential complications associated with bed rest and the medical community is quickly stepping away from this outdated practice," said Leaf co-founder and CEO, Dr. Barrett Larson.
"In order to provide a clinical benefit, patient mobility programs need to be effectively managed. Without a mechanism to reliably monitor mobility programs, it is difficult to realize the full benefit that these programs can provide."
"Our customers need a way to automatically and consistently monitor patient mobility. We are responding to this need by introducing enhancements to our Patient Monitoring System, to provide a tool to automatically monitor and document patient mobility progress," he said. "We are currently piloting the enhancements in a live hospital setting and will soon offer a robust, breakthrough solution."
Earlier this year, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety surveyed attendees at the International Conference on Opioids in Boston and found that almost 80 percent of nurses are in favor of wireless and wearable patient monitors to provide information vital to their treatment plan.
"Nurses would like patient monitoring technology that is wearable and wireless," said Sandra K. Hanneman, PhD, RN, one of the survey's authors. "Having such technology means patients are not tethered to machines and foster greater patient mobility."
Hanneman is the Jerold B. Katz Distinguished Professor for Nursing Research, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, Center for Nursing Research.
More evidence of the need for mobility appeared in a recent ADVANCE for Nurses article, "Nurse-Led Mobility Initiatives: How to dramatically improve quality of care," written by Tracey L. Yap, PhD, RN, WCC, FAAN, and Susan M. Kennerly, PhD, RN, WCC, FAAN. They emphasized that patient mobility is valuable in promoting patient recovery:
"Studies show us that making sure patients move regularly improves healing and turning them helps relieve pressure on bony prominences. Moving and turning patients also helps with respiration, reduces infection risks, improves outcomes in cardiac patients and, of course, helps prevent pressure ulcers. Studies also show effective patient ambulation requires clinical intervention. Patients often cannot move or turn themselves enough or, in the case of pressure ulcers, to a position that best mitigates the risk of pressure ulcers developing."
Larson said Leaf Healthcare is enthusiastic about soon meeting the need for complex mobility monitoring.
"The Leaf Patient Monitoring System has been recognized as one of the world's most innovative medical devices," Larson said. "We are excited to expand the utility of our system to serve the needs of a much larger patient audience."
Leaf Healthcare's wearable Patient Monitoring system was recently recognized as one of the most innovative wearable technologies in the world at the Wearable Tech World Cup in Germany.Â The consulting firm Frost & Sullivan recently recognized Leaf for both its innovation and the significant benefits its Patient Monitoring system delivers to healthcare providers and patients. It called the Leaf system "the industry's most advanced tracking system."Â
The Leaf system, which utilizes a wearable, wireless sensor, tracks patient movement and signals caregivers when an intervention is required to avoid immobility-related health complications. The device also continuously monitors patient activity in ways that encourage patients to meet important mobility goals, which help decrease length of stay and reduce risk of readmission.
Leaf Healthcare is a medical technology company dedicated to preventing pressure ulcers, one of the most common and costly hospital complications. The innovative Leaf System monitors the orientation and activity of patients susceptible to pressure injuries and other immobility- related conditions. Several studies have shown that the Leaf system is a powerful tool that allows providers to prioritize care, improve workflow, and deliver the best care experience to their patients. www.leafhealthcare.com.
Leaf Healthcare, Inc.