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Press Release

Press release

New research shows how to reduce patient bed sores and save money

31 August 2009

A small change in patient management practices could lead to much fewer pressure ulcers in elderly patients, create significant savings and save time according to new research funded by the Health Research Board (HRB).

Zena Moore, a HRB Research Fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and practicing nurse, has found that a simple change to conventional repositioning practices could dramatically reduce pressure ulcers among elderly patients and introduce significant savings and efficiencies in the delivery of care.

'The new method we introduced uses a 30 degree tilt rather than 90 degree rotations', explains Ms Moore. 'It resulted in a four-fold reduction the incidence of pressure ulcers, so it is clearly better for patients.  But it is also less time consuming, requires less nursing staff and it is more cost effective when compared with standard care'.

'The potential cost savings of this change in practice across the HSE are enormous.  Our nursing research estimates show that the new method could save over ?250,000 through a reduction in staffing costs and wound dressing costs alone. This is based solely on the number of patients who would require repositioning in the 12 hospitals which participated in our research. If you extended this out across the HSE it could introduces significant savings and efficiencies'.

Commenting on the success of the research, Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB says:

'The Health Research Board is committed to getting research findings into practice and this project clearly illustrates how dedicated research funding can generate evidence that will improve patient outcomes and create efficiencies in the health service that provide significant economic benefits. 'This nursing research also has the potential to put Irish health research firmly in a positive global spotlight as work will now start to influence policy and practice based on the new findings'.

As President of the European Wound Management Association, Zena Moore is determined to put these findings into practice on a national, EU and international level.  The findings will be launched at the Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel annual meeting in Amsterdam on 3-5 September.  Delegates are expected from Europe, the USA and Japan.

'A key focus of my Presidency will be to make sure that the nursing profession in Ireland and worldwide adopts these new techniques as standard practice', says Ms Moore.

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)hrb.ie
 

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