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Better mattresses improve care, cut hospital costs: U of T study
Date:8/17/2011

$7.2 million in health care costs.

"Pressure ulcers are a huge but underappreciated problem across multiple settings in our health care system," said Prof. Murray Krahn, principal investigator on the study who is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmacy at U of T and the Director of THETA. "Though they are not the full solution, pressure-reduction mattresses are an inexpensive and easy way to address the problem, particularly among elderly patients admitted to EDs."

In other studies, the researchers have found potential for cost reduction through pressure-redistribution mattresses in operating rooms, long-term care homes and other facilities. Through THETA, they are working toward implementing a province-wide strategy on pressure-reduction mattresses with the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) and the Medical Advisory Secretariat at Health Quality Ontario, an independent agency that monitors and promotes improvements in health care in Ontario.

Although OHTAC issued evidence-based recommendations in 2009 on preventing pressure ulcers that included use of better mattresses in EDs, operating rooms and long-term care facilities, Pham said the province and country still lack a cohesive and effective strategy. "We need active policies in Canada to transfer our knowledge into practice," said Pham. "But I expect change will happen, because the burden of pressure ulcers is so high and investing in better mattresses is virtually a one-time change."


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Contact: Jim Oldfield
jim.oldfield@utoronto.ca
416-946-8423
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

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