Augustana Care Uses Innovative Technology to Reduce Pressure Ulcers, Improve Outcomes, Comply with CMS Final Rule Prior to 2019 Mandate
Tamarack Habilitations Technologies’ GlideWear Products Protect Long-Term Care Residents At Risk for Pressure Injuries
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – May 17, 2017 –
Have you ever known anyone with a pressure ulcer and wished you could help? People who spend much of the day and night in bed or sitting are at increased risk for developing pressure ulcers. These ulcers, which can start out as red spots and turn into painful open wounds that are difficult to heal, are common on the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone area. Unfortunately, they can develop in a few hours in people with limited mobility.
Augustana Care, which provides housing, health care and community-based services to older adults and others in need, partnered with medical technology innovator Tamarack Habilitation Technologies to combat pressure injuries (commonly called “pressure sores” or “pressure ulcers”) in long-term care and hospice.
An Innovative Approach to CMS Final Rule Compliance
Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Final Rule outlining new criteria that long-term care facilities must meet in order to receive reimbursement. Facilities must put in place a Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) plan, to be fully implemented by November 2019. With GlideWear, long-term care facilities have a unique opportunity to incorporate a new technology to improve the “quality of life” and “quality of care” requirements into their QAPI plans.
“GlideWear has improved our residents’ quality of life by helping serious, painful wounds heal more quickly,” says Julie Thurn-Favilla, Augustana Care’s corporate director of skilled nursing facilities. “The fact that it helps us comply with the CMS Final Rule, too, is a great additional benefit.”
Innovation Improves Patient Outcomes
Augustana Care and Tamarack have been using Tamarack’s GlideWear, an ultra low-friction fabric technology, to improve patient care and comfort at two Augustana Care locations, including Grace Hospice. Now, they are expanding the use of GlideWear to all six Minneapolis-area locations.
“GlideWear is an essential part of our toolkit for combatting pressure ulcers, and it only makes sense to have it on hand at all of our campuses,” saysThurn-Favilla.
GlideWear is incorporated into garments and equipment to protect parts of the body at-risk for tissue injuries, and works by absorbing the harmful friction and shear that contribute to pressure ulcers. GlideWear’s heel and ankle protector socks and pressure ulcer protection underwear have been especially useful in Augustana Care’s long-term care and hospice settings, where many residents have limited or no mobility.
Widespread Pressure Ulcers Cost the U.S. Billions Each Year
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, pressure ulcers affect 2.5 million patients per year, leading to 60,000 deaths per year, and costing $9.1-11.6 billion per year in the U.S. Moreover, pressure ulcers are painful and detrimental to patient quality of life.
“Working with clinical partners across the country, we’re seeing the profound difference GlideWear is making for people with pressure injuries. We’ve seen promising results in long-term care and are looking forward to bringing GlideWear to even more Augustana Care residents,” says Joe Hofmeister, CEO of Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc.
Augustana Care has always been dedicated to finding the latest technological innovations to ensure their patients have the highest possible quality of life, and is excited to have an innovation partner in Tamarack.
“We’re thrilled to partner with an innovator like Tamarack. GlideWear is exactly the type of innovation we need in long-term care to improve the quality of life for patients and residents,” says Augustana Care CEO Tim Tucker.
About Augustana Care
Based in Minneapolis, the non-profit Augustana Care (www.augustanacare.org) provides senior housing, health care and community-based services to older generations and others in need—and helps residents live the lives that most inspire them. The principles that guide its work are to value older generations’ talents and experience, provide the care residents need, when and where they need it, connect residents to the people and things that mean the most to them, and to support residents and families with spiritual care that speaks to who they are.
GlideWear (www.glidewear.com) is an innovative, patented, ultra low-friction fabric that is widely used in medical and sports applications. GlideWear products include low-friction underwear, socks, wheelchair cushion and headrest covers and prosthetic liner patches. GlideWear is manufactured by Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc.
About Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc.
Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc. (www.tamarackhti.com) is an ISO 13485 certified technology innovator in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tamarack is dedicated to manufacturing innovative, clinically effective, and durable solutions to provide and restore mobility and comfort to our customers. Tamarack distributes its products worldwide in the orthotic & prosthetic, durable medical equipment, long term care, and consumer markets.
Jenna J. Zark, Director of Communications
Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc.
Kimberly Sanberg, GlideWear Product Manager