03 October 2019

Prevent pressure ulcers and save money

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A single pressure ulcer costs a day's wage, every day

The directives say that the healthcare should provide better care with less resources, which can be seen as opposites to each other. However, Care of Sweden's updated health economical report shows that there is a lot of money to be saved, simply by purchasing the right type of mattress.

For many years, Care of Sweden has continuously updated the health economic report, produced in close collaboration with Nordic Health Economics.

– In the latest model we have broken down the figures and also looked at a hospital and clinic level. We have examined, among other things, the number of care units and how much an individual organisation can save, says Annabelle Forsmark at Nordic Health Economics. 

The results were astounding – it turned out that you could make incredible savings.

A mattress can save a lot of money

Up to 90 % of the cost of pressure ulcers can be calculated in working hours, where additional costs for dressings, substrates and antibiotics are added on top. Several reports indicate a doubled time of care when pressure ulcers occur. Up to 60 days for a category 1 pressure ulcer and up to 170 days for a category 4 ulcer. 

– A single pressure ulcer costs a typical day's wage to treat, which makes pressure ulcers the second most expensive injury in Sweden, next to care-related infections, says Anne Lindeborg, Education- and Clinical manager at Care of Sweden. 

Thus, there are massive potential savings to be made just by purchasing a single mattress, getting increasingly higher with every additional purchase. 

From 40 to 10 pressure ulcers

A project that was carried out for 6 months at the Central Hospital in Kristianstad showed that the incidence of pressure ulers decreased radically when existing mattresses were replaced with the CuroCell® AREA Zone. At the same time, the hospital's savings measures increased significantly.

The difference in occuring pressure ulcers in the hospital between a period 2016 and a period 2017 turned out to be almost 50 %. A broader survey running from 2016 to 2018 also shoed a significant change from 40 to 10 pressure ulcers. 

– Once a patient is struck with pressure ulcers, one must act and high costs follow. If you can show that you are making a profit on preventative work, things are shown in a new light, says Anne Lindeborg.