Home Products and Services Electronic device for better continence care HALVES pad usage and saves around 30 minutes per shift, finds trial

Electronic device for better continence care HALVES pad usage and saves around 30 minutes per shift, finds trial

by Lisa Carr

An innovative device that reinvents continence care in healthcare settings has been found to improve residents’ comfort and sleep quality, lessen the time burden on staff for unnecessary bed and clothing changes – and reduce spend on protection products.

The findings are derived from seven studies that have been conducted between 2022 and 2023 in centres in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium, testing the Orizon SMART continence care solution from leading international personal hygiene group Ontex.

Product testing took place over four weeks and in total involved almost 100 residents and over 120 care professionals across the seven locations. Results of implementing the digital incontinence care assistive technology included:

  • Staff time gains ranging from 28 minutes per shift per caregiver, to 3.2 hours
  • Reduced spend on incontinence products of between 21% and 25% (not including cost efficiencies from reduced laundry)
  • An improvement in resident comfort and dignity, reported by 80% of caregivers
  • Reduction in physical burden placed on staff, reported by 100% of staff in France study.

The Orizon SMART features a rechargeable transmitter clip that senses moisture and notifies caregivers when residents require changing. It links to a user-friendly app and presents a traffic light system to help caregivers make continence checks only when necessary.

Avoiding leakages is among benefits of the solution, with the Germany trial reporting zero bed linen changing due to leakage. In that study, 100% of staff said they would recommend it.

A key learning from the research, which is being championed by Ontex, is the need to revolutionise incontinence care culture, transitioning from the current standard – routine 24 hour per day changing of pads – towards personalised care that puts residents’ dignity at its heart.

Helen Seymour, UK and Ireland Commercial Director for Ontex UK, explains: “Our objective in these trials is to evaluate the efficiency of Orizon SMART in both cost and time savings for caregivers and whether it facilitates their workload, while improving patient quality of life. 

“What we found was an overwhelming endorsement of the technology. In fact, in the France study, more than 80% of caregivers corroborated an improvement in residents’ comfort and dignity.

“Routine continence checks do not represent the actual voiding behaviours of residents. We now know what good continence care looks like, and with emerging technology, we can deliver it. Our Italy research showed that the number of wet beds managed by the team dropped from eight to 10 each week to just one.”

The research also encompassed an acute hospital setting in Wales, at the NHS Ysbyty Cwm Cynon Hospital (YCCH) with patients on a long-stay ward that mostly cares for older individuals with dementia.

Whereas pre-trial, the majority of nurses would change incontinence products every four hours, 87.5% began changing products based on need, rather than routine. This resulted in reduction in average pad usage from 6 per 24 hours to just 3.2.

It was estimated that each nurse saw a reduction in workload for a minimum of 28 mins per shift from reduced pad changes. In addition, while 1,000 products were used during the study, only two leakages were observed due to the product not being changed in time after being alerted.

Helen added: “Anecdotally, the staff in our Wales trial reported that this allowed them to spend more time on individual care with patients. And we have calculated that if this particular ward rolled out the solution for one full year, it would save 1,700 hours from unnecessary pad changes, and reduce pad use by over 10,000.

“Interestingly, in our international studies we observed benefits that went beyond the core scope of the research. For example, demonstrating the potential for residents to enjoy better sleep quality, due to less disturbances, with a knock-on positive impact to resident behaviour. Plus, use of Orizon SMART boosts sustainability due to less processing of laundry. It’s a win for the planet as well as each person.

“Although we have focused on an older demographic, we believe this is just the start for the application for Orizon SMART. It could help across settings, for example, for the care of young adults where potentially palliative care or physical needs are present.”

In development since 2017, Orizon SMART is a small rechargeable sensor that attaches discreetly to the front pocket of a smart continence pad. From one app a caregiver can quickly see the status of all user’s smart incontinence products via a secure wireless data processing system updated every 60 seconds for real-time reporting.

This data-led approach allows caregivers to spot changes in voiding patterns, which could indicate a change in the individual. In a 2022 trial, voiding pattern data led to earlier detection of prostate cancer for one patient.

To find out more about Orizon SMART visit: https://orizon-solutions.com/.

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