Pressure Injury (“PI”) is a major challenge for care providers throughout the world. Failure to identify and treat is potentially fatal, with an estimated 60,000 mortalities from PI in the US each year.
Prevention of PI is a measure of quality in all healthcare settings. There are three main sectors prone to high frequency of PI: hospitals, nursing homes and homecare.
IR-Med has developed PressureSafe which is a user-friendly, non-invasive and real-time optical monitoring device for the preemptive detection of PI.
The IR-Med devices deals effectively with the main diagnostic problems of having to not only identify PI but also to differentiate between Deep Tissue PI (before it becomes visible) and Stage 1 PI. Deep Tissue PI is far more difficult to detect.
The device is effective regardless of the skin color of the patient, which is a critical advantage.
The patent pending PressureSafe is a hand-held scanner for early detection of PI (before it appears on the skin) to help physicians in their decision-making.
It collects and digitizes patient results for effective treatment monitoring. Its machine learning algorithms calculate the probability of developing PI and suggest an optimized plan for monitoring patient health and PI condition.
A study published in 2019 measured the total cost of acute care attributable to Hospital Acquired Pressure Injury (HAPI) for the entire United States at over $26.8 billion. HAPIs remain a major concern with regard to hospital quality in addition to being a major source of economic burden on the US health care system.
Hospitals must invest more to improve the early detection of PI and care in order to avoid higher costs. In many countries, including the US, hospitals and nursing homes are penalized when failing to prevent PI while patients are in their care. Penalties include no reimbursement for the cost of treating HAPI.
The problem is critical for nursing homes, which pay staggering insurance premiums to provide for potential law suits. 20% of long-term care residents who have lived in long term care facilities for at least two years suffer at least one PI.
Treating PI can cost facilities anywhere from $2,400 to $12,000 per month and financial penalties can be up to $10,000 per day per ulcer.
Lawsuit awards to residents and families of patients with PI while in a facility’s care average $3.5 million per lawsuit and go as high as $312 million.
Nursing homes need a reliable method of monitoring patients and recording where and when PI occurs. Lowering the number of PIs and having a higher score will improve reimbursement conditions.
In October 2019 a new federal quality plan became effective among US nursing homes based upon patient driven payments (PDPM). Medicare has reduced overall SNF payments by 11.1%. Nursing facilities must cut costs without compromising residents’ quality of care, and a top priority is to decrease the enormous cost of PI. Early detection can stop the advancement of the ulcer and help reduce related costs.
Other technology-based methods for detecting and monitoring PI have been developed but none have proven successful in reliably differentiating between the stages.