Managing Incontinence for Better Outcomes
When it comes to incontinence, a product is not “just a product”, especially when measuring quality clinical outcomes. Individuals that have incontinence are at a higher risk for developing skin related issues like Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD), bacterial and fungal infections and pressure injuries.
A simple decision such as which style and size product to use, can lead to unintentional pain for the person and excessive costs for the family and health plan.
Providing the wrong incontinence product can lead to skin alterations, infections, hospitalization, and admission to a skilled nursing facility. Caregivers at home have reported that when they can no longer manage incontinence in the home, they look for alternatives, such as senior living facilities.
Therefore, when choosing an incontinence product formulary, price should not be the driving factor. An incontinence product that is inferior will ultimately be used more often, thus increasing changes due to the product’s inability to perform in managing the incontinence levels.
Prevails® “Continence Coach”™ data reveals out of the respondents in the wrong product type, 92% needed to be converted up to a more absorbent product.
The National Association for Continence (NAFC) released, in 2012, a set of nationally recognized performance measures for disposable incontinent products.
These standards were developed by a diverse team of individuals including: nurse educators, family caregivers, top absorbent manufacturers of incontinence products and state government agencies from all areas of the United States.
The criteria developed by this team includes:
- Rewet Rate – The products ability to handle multiple incontinent episodes between changes
- Rate of Acquisition – How quickly the urine is drawn away from the skin and into the product
- Retention Capacity – Products capability to hold fluid without rewetting the skin
- Sizing Options – Proper size availability to cover a wide range of incontinent population
- Absorbency Levels – Options to allow for different products for day and night-time usage
- Safety – Disallowing components/additives that are deemed unsafe by regulatory agencies
- Closure System – Fastening tabs/system that allows for multiple fastening and refastening
- Breathable Zones – Minimum airflow values set to allow for air/heat exchange next to the skin
Meeting the NAFC Quality Performance Standards allows providers to mitigate an adverse outcome related to skin health and improve the patient’s quality of life. Prioritizing a person-centered care approach to incontinence is not for only those in an institutional setting. This philosophy should be applied across the continuum of care, especially for those living in their own home.
A Study Overview: The Impact of Hands-on Education and Quality Incontinence Briefs and Wipes in Sub-Acute/LTC Facilities. Miller, M., Sanantonio, M., Gunner, C., Trousaant, S., Moore, M. https://link.zixcentral.com/u/0a7648a3/QmvfCkfj6xG2KJrpYFsSiw?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.woundsource.com%2Fblog%2Fimpact-hands-education-quality-incontinence-briefs-and-wipes-in-sub-acuteltc-facilities-study
Homecare Study. 2017. https://www.prevail.com/professionals/homecare/continence-coach/