SOURCE: Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline Industries, Inc.

June 19, 2009 11:25 ET

Northwest Hospital Improves Patient Care, Reduces Costs With New Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program

Program Trial Virtually Eliminates Pressure Ulcers in Geriatric Unit

MUNDELEIN, IL--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) - Northwest Hospital, Randallstown, Md., is implementing a comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention program that is virtually eliminating pressure ulcers from occurring in their patients while in the hospital. Pressure ulcers (sometimes called "bed sores") affect millions of people each year. They are painful and dangerous to the patient and very expensive to treat.

"Just prior to the beginning of the trial, we had a prevalence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in our geriatric unit as high as 25 percent," said Deborah Greener-Orr, Ph.D., RN, Certified Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse at Northwest. "And since the program was implemented six months ago, our prevalence has been zero pressure ulcers."

The program was implemented in collaboration with Medline Industries, Inc., a provider of healthcare products and the developer of the pressure ulcer reduction system. Over a six-month period of time, Northwest's staff employed multiple interventions in the hospital's geriatric ward, including advanced wound care products, staffing and family education and clinical support.

A pressure ulcer is an injury to the skin that is caused by pressure. Sitting or lying in one position without moving puts pressure on the skin and slows down blood flow. When blood flow slows down, skin and tissue can die and result in a pressure ulcer. When pressure ulcers occur, they can often be painful, debilitating and potentially cause serious health issues, which also add to a patient's length of stay in the hospital.

The cost savings from preventing pressure ulcers and eliminating additional treatment is also very significant for both the hospital and its patients. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the average cost per patient per hospital stay for a pressure ulcer as a secondary diagnosis is $43,180. The total cost of treatment of pressure ulcers in the United States is estimated at $11 billion per year. In 2007, more than 257,412 preventable pressure ulcers were reported as secondary diagnoses in hospitals.

Greener-Orr attributes much of the program's success to staff education. "We feel that the reduction has a lot to do with increased staff education on identifying pressure ulcers when patients are admitted to the hospital and the interventions we've put into place," she said. "These education materials give us a major advantage in treating our patients and reducing the number of pressure ulcers at our facility."

The educational materials included nurse and nursing assistant workbooks, instructor notebooks and teaching materials and patient and family education brochures. The program also offers facilities assistance in the areas of staff education, training and tracking the program's effectiveness. Long-term continued support for the program includes webinars, user groups and other peer networking activities.

Products included Medline's line of Remedy moisturizers, cleansers, skin protectants and antifungals. Incontinence products are also part of the product offering with Ultrasorbs® dry pads and Restore® adult briefs. Both of these products help to keep the skin dry, a very important quality in reducing and preventing incontinence-associated dermatitis and skin tears. To round out the pressure ulcer prevention program, low-air-loss mattresses are also offered, which help to reduce pressure on sensitive areas of the body.

About Northwest Hospital

Northwest Hospital is part of LifeBridge Health, one of Baltimore's largest health organizations that includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, and Courtland Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. For more information, visit

About Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline, the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets. Headquartered in Mundelein, IL, Medline has more than 800 dedicated sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.

Over the past five years, Medline has been the fastest growing distributor of medical and surgical supplies in the U.S., serving as the primary distributor to over 250 major hospitals and health care systems. As a leading distributor, Medline offers a comprehensive array of consulting and management services encompassing the supply chain and logistics, utilization and standardization, business tools and enhanced reporting capabilities, and on-staff clinicians.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Jerreau Beaudoin
    (847) 643-3011
    John Marks
    (847) 643-3309