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Hospitals Could Improve Outcomes for Patients and Save Millions According to Hill-Rom 10th Annual Pressure Ulcer Survey

Thursday, September 6, 2007 General News J E 4
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BATESVILLE, Ind., Sept. 6 Today, findings of the10th Annual International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey (IPUPS) werereleased by Hill-Rom, the health care unit of Hillenbrand Industries(NYSE: HB) and a leading provider of medical technology for hospitals andother care sites around the world. These results document the potential fordecreasing by half the incidence rate of pressure ulcers in acute carefacilities and substantiate an opportunity for hospitals to dramaticallyreduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers through specially designed preventionprograms. The study is of particular interest following the Centers forMedicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recent announcement that treatment ofhospital-acquired pressure ulcers would no longer be reimbursed.

The broad and in-depth survey documented that nearly half of all adultpatients in acute care facilities were assessed to be at high risk for thedevelopment of pressure ulcers. Although hospitals are beginning toincorporate comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention programs, still over 75percent of the high risk patients did not receive such a program.Implementing a comprehensive approach like the new Safe Skin(TM) Programoffered by Hill-Rom was shown in the IPUPS data to significantly decrease theincidence rate of pressure ulcers from 7.8 percent to 3.8 percent in the highrisk group.

Based on the survey prevalence, it can be estimated that over 900,000Medicare patients annually will develop pressure ulcers. According to a 2003study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), theexcess cost of treating a hospital-acquired pressure ulcer is $10,845,potentially leading to more than $10 billion of total Medicare reimbursementsannually. The recent CMS announcement regarding pressure ulcer treatmentreimbursement requires hospital leaders to take a closer look at pressureulcer prevention programs. Doing so could save hospitals millions of dollarsnationwide.

"Healthcare providers across the country are doing an outstanding job toimprove outcomes for patients and, as evidenced by this data, are workingdiligently to keep pressure ulcer incidence levels from increasing," saidMelissa Fitzpatrick, RN, MSN, FAAN, vice president and chief clinical officerfor Hill-Rom. "We know and understand the challenges that caregivers face inreducing that number. What we've seen is that when health care teams adopt anintegrated program to focus on safe skin, they achieve results. At Hill-Rom,we've aligned our people, processes and technology around a focused effort topartner with healthcare providers to help them reduce the incidence ofpressure ulcers and other preventable adverse events."

The 2007 Hill-Rom IPUPS data results were delivered through a survey of653 healthcare facilities and included more than 82,000 patients, representingan estimated 10 percent of all U.S. acute care hospitals. The IPUPS studyresults are widely regarded by hospital leaders as being nationallyrepresentative of trends in healthcare facilities. The data used to compilethe IPUPS report is also commonly submitted by organizations to databases,such as the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI(R)), as akey quality indicator when seeking and maintaining nursing magnet status. Thestudy has been conducted for 10 years since 1991 and annually since 2003.Survey information is submitted by hospital teams into a data baseadministered by Hill-Rom representatives. Individual facility data is thenshared with each participating hospital, and also is aggregated to provide anindustry-wide assessment.

"The IPUPS results have served as a recognized benchmark for hospitalsnationwide," said Fitzpatrick, "Now, more than ever, this data can helphospital leadership take a closer look at their own processes and use pressureulcer prevention programs to improve patient outcomes."

The Hill-Rom Safe Skin
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