Pressure injuries cost the Australian healthcare system more than $1.8 billion annually, with more than 500,000 patient days of unnecessary hospitalisation. There are more than 12,000 residents with pressure injuries in Australian residential aged care.
Traditional management of resident repositions is considered to be an internal process, managed by each ward of a facility individually. This not only requires substantial resources from management and RNs, it is also ineffective.
Pressure injuries are prevented by repositions. The current concept of care requires patient repositions to be manually monitored and managed. There is a fundamental problem with this approach, because:
When monitored manually, these repositions may easily be missed and forgotten altogether, resulting in a pressure injury.
Preventing pressure injuries
PosiSense is a reposition management system that prevents pressure injuries in the aged care setting. It is based on AI algorithms, IoT, and behavioural science models. PosiSense has been developed in collaboration with The Prince Charles Hospital, a 650-bed research hospital, which is Australia’s leading research institute for pressure injuries. CSIRO Data61 is also actively involved in a joint research program.
PosiSense ensures that actual repositions are conducted in compliance with the prescribed repositioning plan. When necessary, it provides nurses with instructions, which ensures that no reposition is missed.
This is a new concept of care that substantially increases the effectiveness of pressure injury prevention and nursing productivity.
Supporting consumer-centred care
The current concept of pressure injuries prevention isn’t consumer-centric. When all patient repositions are manually managed, it’s easy to lose track of individual reposition plans. As a result, many repositions are conducted in ‘rounds’, where all residents in the ward are repositioned in one go, at the same time, regardless of their individual needs.
This means valuable nursing resources are misallocated (estimated at $300 million in Australia alone) and most importantly tens of thousands of elderly residents are unnecessarily deprived of their sleep.
PosiSense ensures that each resident is being repositioned with his or her individual repositioning plan, so that each resident can receive care tailored to their individual needs.
Benefits for aged care
In St Sergius Aged Care – the first facility where PosiSense was installed in 2019 – there has been an 84 per cent reduction in the number of pressure injuries in the 12 months since the installation. This has resulted in a substantial reduction in nursing workload, including wound treatment and repositioning.
According to CEO Helen Workman: ‘We would certainly recommend PosiSense. Not only has it helped us prevent pressure injuries, but it also required virtually no effort from us. Installation was simple, took a few days and required no rewiring. Training was needed only in the first few days, after which the caregivers began to learn from more experienced team members.’
The outcomes at St Sergius are an encouraging sign of how emerging technologies (AI, IoT) can provide enormous benefits for aged care.
St Sergius Aged Care with PosiSense was Winner of the innovAGEING Increasing Care and Productivity Award 2020.