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

Close to 1 million Medicare patients develop pressure ulcers costing the

system more than $10 billion annually

BATESVILLE, Ind., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today, findings of the 10th Annual International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey (IPUPS) were released by Hill-Rom, the health care unit of Hillenbrand Industries (NYSE: HB) and a leading provider of medical technology for hospitals and other care sites around the world. These results document the potential for decreasing by half the incidence rate of pressure ulcers in acute care facilities and substantiate an opportunity for hospitals to dramatically reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers through specially designed prevention programs. The study is of particular interest following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recent announcement that treatment of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers would no longer be reimbursed.

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

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

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

The 2007 Hill-Rom IPUPS data results were delivered through a survey of 653 healthcare facilities and included more than 82,000 patients, representing an estimated 10 percent of all U.S. acute care hospitals. The IPUPS study results are widely regarded by hospital leaders as being nationally representative of trends in healthcare facilities. The data used to compile the IPUPS report is also commonly submitted by organizations to databases, such as the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI(R)), as a key quality indicator when seeking and maintaining nursing magnet status. The study has been conducted for 10 years since 1991 and annually since 2003. Survey information is submitted by hospital teams into a data base administered by Hill-Rom representatives. Individual facility data is then shared with each participating hospital, and also is aggregated to provide an industry-wide assessment.

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

The Hill-Rom Safe Skin(TM) Program combines deep clinical expertise with proven technologies to help caregivers take steps toward reducing pressure ulcers. Hill-Rom's wound prevention experts offer comprehensive clinical consulting and education for hospital teams. Hill-Rom has developed innovative technologies, designed to help prevent pressure ulcers such as the new Envision(TM) low air loss surface bed and TotalCare SpO2RT(R) Bed System with Next Generation Low Air Loss (LAL). These products are designed to manage the skin's microclimate by enhancing air flow next to the body, so that moisture and heat are pulled away from the patient. In addition, Hill-Rom partners with health care providers by bringing integrated solutions to the design of customized programs that address specific clinical improvement needs.

Fitzpatrick added, "We believe that the solutions to fully address the challenge of preventing adverse events will be found through partnering with companies like Hill-Rom, using our resources to augment those improvement efforts made by caregivers. Ultimately, adopting these solutions will make a difference in the lives of patients and the health care facilities' bottom line."


Hillenbrand Industries is organized into two operating companies serving the health care and funeral services industries.

Hill-Rom is a leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services for the health care industry, including patient support systems, non-invasive therapeutic products for a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions, medical equipment rentals, and healthcare information technology solutions. Hill-Rom's comprehensive product and service offerings are used by health care providers across the care continuum in hospitals, extended care facilities and home care settings to enhance the safety and quality of patient care.

Hill-Rom ... enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers.

Batesville Casket Company is a leader in the North American death care industry through the sale of funeral services products, including burial caskets, cremation caskets, containers and urns, selection room display fixturing and other personalization and memorialization products.

Batesville Casket Company ... helping families honor the lives of those they love.

SOURCE Hillenbrand Industries, Inc.
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