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Sensor Technology Aims to Reduce Healthcare Facilities’ Exposure to Pressure Injury Lawsuits

September 6, 2022
Jonathan L. Berkowitz

Jonathan L. Berkowitz, a Goldberg Segalla partner and vice chair of the firm’s Health Care and Long-Term Care practices, examines in a white paper released today how new technology can play a critical role in helping providers mitigate their exposure to pressure injury litigation.

“Hospital-acquired pressure injuries are one of the most common hospital-acquired conditions and have higher annual mortality than falls, adverse drug events, ventilator-associated pneumonia and central-lined associated bloodstream infections combined,” Jonathan writes, noting too that such injuries only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While nursing homes are the most common targets for pressure injury litigation, hospitals account for almost a quarter of all lawsuits. Meanwhile, two-thirds of plaintiffs in these cases receive payments at an average of more than $200,000 per paid claim.

Healthcare facilities all too often fail in their defense of these suits because they cannot prove caregivers provided reasonable turning and repositioning to prevent skin breakdown and deterioration, Jonathan notes.

But now, an innovative wearable sensor can be used to mitigate this litigation, Jonathan writes. Developed by Leaf Healthcare Inc., the LEAF patient monitoring system corroborates patient turning and repositioning through automated technology that captures offloading without increasing the documentation responsibilities of nursing staff. The technology, he adds, has been shown to improve compliance with patient-turn protocols and provides more complete documentation of repositioning events.

Read the white paper: