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Landmark study uses Leaf Healthcare technology to measure effectiveness of traditional practices for pressure injury prevention
An analysis of 45,000 hours of data finds that significant care disparities can result in pressure injuries when technology is not used to coordinate care.

Pleasanton, Calif. (June 19, 2018) — A report on a five-month study of intensive care unit patients shows that patients are turned less frequently than recommended and that the magnitude of the repositioning often fails to enable tissue reperfusion — which can result in the patient developing a pressure injury.

The study, "Pressure Injury Prevention Practices in the ICU: Real-World Data Captured by Wearable Patient Sensors," is the first to use the novel Leaf Patient Monitoring System to objectively analyze care related to the prevention of pressure injuries in patients admitted to ICUs. The article, posted on the WOUNDS website, will be published next month in the print journal of clinical research and practice.

The study found that there is a high degree of unintentional variability in delivery of care, in particular to men and obese patients.

"This is the first study to report that the magnitude of the majority of patient turns performed in the ICU are less than the recommended 30-degree turn angle threshold," states the report authored by David Pickham, PhD, RN, Stanford University School of Medicine. "We find dynamically measured turning frequency, turn magnitude, and tissue depressurization time to be sub-optimal."

In this study, the wearable Leaf Sensor was used only to assess the effectiveness of traditional care that uses conventional reminders. The study served to "uncover biases in care delivery based on a patient's sex and body mass index." It found that men "received significantly less preventative turning than women," which may explain why hospital-acquired pressure injuries occur more often in men. Furthermore, the study found that "compliance to turning protocols reduces as body mass index (BMI) increases," which may explain the higher rates of pressure injuries typically found in obese patients.

The article concludes that "wearable patient sensors can be used to identify and help mitigate disparities in care delivery."

"The standard of care for pressure injury prevention is to reposition high-risk and immobilized patients on a regular basis. However, in the busy hospital environment, it can be difficult to ensure that patients are repositioned sufficiently," said Dr. Barrett Larson, co-founder and CEO of Leaf. "The Leaf System makes it easy for providers to deliver a high-quality prevention program to all patients, regardless of gender, BMI, or other factors. By eliminating care disparities, the Leaf System can dramatically reduce pressure injury rates."

Pressure injuries are among the nation's most common facility-acquired conditions, affecting more than 2.5 million patients a year, and adding $11 billion to annual U.S. healthcare costs.

About Leaf Healthcare, Inc.

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.

Media Contact:

Mark Smith
Vice President
Leaf Healthcare, Inc.
925-621-1827
mark.smith@leafhealthcare.com