Researchers at the Duke University School of Nursing have begun a study to determine the most optimal times for turning or repositioning patients to prevent the occurrence of pressure ulcers.

In the 5-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, the investigators will employ the Leaf Patient Monitoring System to determine whether the repositioning intervals can be extended to 3 or 4 hours without increasing the incidence rates of pressure ulcers.

Specifically, per a media release from Leaf Healthcare, the Duke researchers aim to determine: differences for residents repositioned at two-, three-, or four-hour intervals; how medical severity changes in relation to risk level and repositioning schedule; individual and system costs and staff satisfaction; and the effects of repositioning on high-density foam mattresses.

“We need this information to decide how to deliver the best prevention care realistically and safely,” says Tracey L. Yap, RN, PhD, FAAN, associate professor at Duke University School of Nursing and the study’s principal investigator, in the release.

“The standard patient turn protocol of 2 hours was originally set by Florence Nightingale.  We are overdue to find updated ways to improve quality of life while reducing facility-acquired pressure ulcers and lowering healthcare costs,” she adds.

The Leaf Patient Monitoring System is a wearable, wireless sensor that is designed to electronically track movement and activity in bed-bound, chair-bound, or ambulatory patients.

During the study, it will be used among patients at nine nursing homes to continuously monitor their mobility and activity, and automatically track their repositioning times.

[Source: Leaf Healthcare]