DENVER, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In intensive care units (ICU) around the country, critical care nurses are treating patients with complex medical conditions in an environment that becomes more challenging each year. This week, Hill-Rom (NYSE: HRC) will be working with thousands of ICU nurses at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), hosted by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), to identify how new protocols and technologies can address some of the ICU's most pressing needs.
Among the innovations being discussed are the Progressa® bed system, a state-of-the-art patient care environment specifically designed for the ICU; Liko® patient handling equipment, designed to support early mobility for patients while providing protection for nurses; and, the Hill-Rom® Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution, which provides a fully automated system to help increase hand hygiene rates, an essential step in mitigating deadly hospital-acquired infections.
The company will also be supporting education sessions featuring experts in critical care from the Cleveland Clinic, St. Luke's Regional Medical Center (Boise, Idaho) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Cambridge, Mass.). Each will be presenting first-hand experiences with implementing and advocating for early mobility protocols.
AACN is the nation's leading organization for nursing professionals working in intensive care and other high acuity hospital settings.
The Progressa Bed System
More than five million patients spend time in the ICU each year and virtually all are at risk for potentially life-threatening complications. These complications range from skin pressure ulcers, to ventilator-associated pneumonia, to muscle loss, with patients losing as much as five percent of their muscle mass every seven days. Research shows that early mobility helps mitigate these risks.
The Progressa bed is a therapeutic system designed to treat and prevent complications of immobility. It features an advanced design that supports treatment goals and was engineered to help address patient migration via its StayInPlace™ technology. When moving from lying down to an upright position, a patient's body naturally elongates. In a traditional bed, the result is increased pressure on the lower back and a tendency to "migrate" toward the foot of the bed. The Progressa bed system is the first and only bed to actually extend in length along with the patient when the head of the bed is raised. As the patient sits up, the bed mimics the patient's body, providing continuous support and preventing migration.
The Progressa bed system's frame allows for multiple configurations ranging from a flat bed to a full chair position. Patients have multiple ways to exit the bed, providing caregivers with a wide range of options for easily and safely moving patients through the stages of early mobility. In addition to mobility support, the Progressa bed system also helps prevent and treat some of the most serious skin and lung complications via on-board therapy delivery and therapeutic surfaces. With these and other features, the bed becomes an extension of the ICU team, helping nurses provide state-of-the-art care for critically ill patients.
The increasing emphasis on patient movement to help prevent complications and speed recovery is a major challenge for the nursing profession. As important as mobility is for patients, it is physically demanding and risky for nurses. A nurse lifts an average of 1.8 tons over the course of a single shift, putting them at risk for career-limiting and debilitating injuries that are costly to treat. Indeed, the injuries sustained by nurses can mean billions in preventable costs for the health care system.
Hill-Rom's Liko team is working with nurses at NTI to explore how patient lifts and patient handling protocols can be incorporated into daily care routines and mobility protocols to help facilitate the ever-increasing needs for patient movement while protecting caregivers from injuries.
Hospital-acquired infections can be deadly – and many times preventable. Nearly every major public health organization agrees that ineffective "hand hygiene" (hand washing or using disinfecting sprays, wipes or gels) is one of the most significant contributors to the problem. Yet, compliance rates among caregivers are difficult to track and often found to be low. Many hospitals struggle to achieve even 50 percent compliance with recommended protocols. The Hill-Rom Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution continually monitors the patient care environment, reminding key personnel about critical hand-washing events, and providing the data to ensure sustainability. In the ICU, a system that helps maximize compliance with this simple but very effective method of infection prevention can provide reassurance for nurses working to protect patients whose health is already compromised.
Hill-Rom is a leading global medical technology company with more than 6,500 employees in over 100 countries. We partner with health care providers by focusing on patient care solutions that improve clinical and economic outcomes in five core areas: Advancing Mobility, Wound Care and Prevention, Clinical Workflow, Surgical Safety and Efficiency, and Respiratory Health. Around the world, Hill-Rom's people, products, and programs work towards one mission: Enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers.