Using research to develop inbed care management systems
We recently posted, “…the Health and Social Care industry shouldn’t be waiting for legislation to make change happen; we should be pursuing a culture of safety and prevention to improve the safety of patients and their carers”.
This view was reflected by Usha Boolaky in her recent article for The Health Foundation, when she stated, “…funding is only part of the research process…knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. And – at a time of huge financial pressure on the wider health system – we have an important part to play in this process.”
Improving safety and preventing tissue harm is at the heart of Phil-e-Slide’s Biotechsis® inbed care system. This has been designed and developed based on research into tissue harm (often termed pressure sores, pressure ulcers, tissue ulcers and force related tissue damage etc).
For example, care-givers need products that help them with infection control. Research has shown that soft surfaces are a source of cross-contamination of MRSA, so we made Biotechsis® inbed care system anti-microbial and self-sanitising. by using X-STATIC®; a layer of pure silver permanently bonded to the surface of a textile fibre that is then woven into our Biotechsis® fabric. This is because pure silver has been proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria on soft surfaces and reduce 99.9% of bacteria on fabrics.
Odour control, anti static and temperature control
The silver releases ions that work at an intra-cellular level, disrupting the DNA of micro-organisms on the fabric. This means it is able to neutralise odour – working in the same way as anti-microbial properties by binding with ammonia, denaturing proteins and killing the bacteria that produce odour. It also makes it able to dissipate static electricity (making it ant-static) and provides thermo dynamic properties so the fabric cools the patient when warm, and keeps the patient warm when it is cool.
Perhaps the most challenging and complex research in the development of the Biotechsis® inbed care system has been to develop how it can prevent tissue harm. With the CMS putting even more emphasis on the evidence of tissue damage as “an indicator of hospital harm” it is imperative that care providers make sure that their patients are cared for in a safe environment that won’t put them at risk.
Proprietary research – published in Wounds UK – discovered that in force-related tissue damage, a cell or tissue can be at any time logically distinguished in one of six states: normal, adapted, stressed, injured, damaged and dead. This highlights and backs up research into the dynamic happenings under the skin, as explained in the fascinating video, “Strolling under the skin” which outlines pioneering research into the role of the fascia in our bodies. This research identified that fascia allows tissues to move freely without transferring movement to surrounding structures therefore prevents them from reaching the threshold of resistance at which tissues may be harmed. This system is the body’s natural way (homeostasis) of using gravity and biotensegrity to avoid tissue damage.
Over 220 pieces of research were then analysed to develop the white paper discussing force-related tissue damage and how to resolve this.
This reinforced our view that a shift in focus is needed so that force-related tissue harm changes from something to be managed to something that can be predicted and prevented. To do this, inbed care systems need to protect patients in such a way that their cells and tissues remain in a ‘normal state’ and if they do become stressed, prevents them from becoming injured, damaged or dead.
The resulting philesynergetic approach – which we refer to as the Safety Dance – therefore understands the forces that are at work within the body when a patient is moved, repositioned or stabilised. It uses the correct synergetic layers and works with gravity to enable the body’s natural, internal prevention mechanisms to maintain tissue integrity.
Of course, research is ongoing and as a result, so is our R&D. But the real change will happen when the healthcare industry recognises that it needs to have a paradigm shift in its thinking and practices – as Joachim Sturmberg recently wrote for the BMJ – healthcare will only change “by Improving the Health System ‘As-A-Whole’” and it puts its money where its mouth is i.e. its actions catch up with its promises and calls for change.