Southcoast Health Implements Wireless Patient Position Monitoring Technology Shown to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injuries

Southcoast Health implements a monitoring device called the Leaf Patient Monitoring System.

Southcoast Health’s Charlton Memorial Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Tobey Hospital are among the first in Massachusetts to implement a unique monitoring device called the Leaf Patient Monitoring System, designed to assist with patient turning protocols and reduce the incidence of pressure injuries, commonly called bed sores, that can occur during long hospital stays.

“We are proud to be among the first in Massachusetts to adopt this innovative technology,” said Jackie Somerville RN, Ph.D., FAAN, NEA-BC Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Southcoast Hospitals Group. 

The Leaf Sensor is a lightweight, disposable device placed on a patient’s chest where it automatically measures the patient’s position, movement, and activity, and wirelessly transmits data to display monitoring stations that are viewed by clinical staff. The Leaf System provides alerts according to each patient’s prescribed turning schedule and confirms when pressure reduction is achieved. The sensor also registers independent patient movement and automatically adjusts the repositioning schedule. 

“Reducing the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers is a goal for all healthcare providers,” explained Karen L’Esperance, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC Director of Patient Care Services. “It was a nursing-led effort to implement Leaf Sensor technology at Southcoast Health. We are proud to share our success with this tool that demonstrates our team’s ongoing commitment to high-quality patient care.”

Earlier results of a clinical trial at another institution utilizing Leaf Sensors for pressure injury prevention were published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies. The randomized controlled trial examined more than 1,200 intensive care unit patients and 100,000 hours of Leaf monitoring data, showing a 73 percent reduction in hospital-acquired pressure injuries.

The Leaf Patient Monitoring System recently received an industry Innovative Technology designation and the company that produced Leaf previously received a Technology Leadership Award from Frost and Sullivan, a cross-industry growth strategy consulting firm.

“The Leaf Patient Monitoring System provides us with a tool to consistently monitor patient mobility and provide information designed to help improve patient care,” said Somerville.