How digital wound care management helped cut pressure ulcer prevalence by 77% at Teays Valley Center
Swift Medical presents success story at Institute for Healthcare Improvement forum
ORLANDO, FL, December 12, 2018. Can a smartphone app help to prevent and improve the management of pressure ulcers? In a presentation this week at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, Swift Medical Inc., discusses how its smartphone-ready wound care management software helped a facility dramatically reduce the prevalence of pressure ulcers among its residents.
“Pressure ulcers are a serious health problem and their prevalence is a key metric for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which regulates healthcare organizations in the U.S.,” explains Swift medical affairs vice president Dr. Yunghan Au, who is presenting at the IHI conference, which runs December 9 to 12 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. “As my presentation will show, it’s possible to prevent pressure ulcers by combining quality improvement and wound care best practices with the right digital wound care management solution.”
Dr. Au’s presentation will highlight the work at Teays Valley Center, a 128-bed skilled nursing facility in Hurricane, W. Va. At the start of 2017, Teays Valley had undertaken a wound care quality and root cause analysis and created a Skin Integrity Coordinator role to act as a central point of accountability for wound care-related activities and performance metrics.
Teays also implemented a smartphone-ready digital wound care management solution – PointClickCare Skin and Wound powered by Swift technology – that visualizes and measures wounds accurately, and automatically tracks wound healing progression and management.
Within a year of introducing these initiatives, Teays Valley saw its pressure ulcer prevalence decline to as low as 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017 — a 77% improvement from the prevalence rate of 12.99% during the same period in 2016.
“These results highlight the importance of supporting wound care quality improvement initiatives with accurate wound measurement and healing progression monitoring,” says Dr. Au. “In addition to its role in delivering better patient outcomes, our app and dashboards enabled Teays Valley Center to survey all wounds at an aggregate level and easily identify areas that need improvement.”
By adopting the new software, Teays Valley improved the accuracy of wound classification — an important factor in ensuring appropriate treatment. At the same time, the new wound photos taken with the app created better understanding and communication between healthcare professionals from various disciplines, residents and their families, says Dr. Au.
“Teays Valley was even able to use the smartphone app to consult remotely with a wound council of experts located 500 miles away,” he adds. “With the software automatically flowing data and imaging into their EMR system, Teays Valley also had comprehensive wound documentation, which proved extremely advantageous during CMS audits.”
View the presentation poster on Reducing the Prevalence of Pressure Ulcers Using a Smartphone App.