VA Puget Sound Facilities Standardize with Disposable Blood Pressure Cuffs to Fight Infection

Welch Allyn, a leading manufacturer of frontline medical products and solutions, has teamed with Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System to standardize their facilities with FlexiPort® blood pressure cuffs, a single-patient disposable cuff that travels with the patient throughout their stay. In doing so, the system, which includes the Seattle and American Lake Divisions and all community-based outpatient clinics, will help reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease and decrease their overall costs. Welch Allyn FlexiPort blood pressure cuffs are designed so they can be assigned to one patient, who can then be connected to virtually any manual or electronic blood pressure device in the facility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that hospital-acquired infections affect more than 1.7 million U.S. patients annually and cause about 99,000 deaths, resulting in longer hospital visits. In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently stated they will no longer reimburse for extended patient visits from certain hospital-acquired infections, putting a strain on the cost of healthcare.

According to Susan Dubay, senior manager of clinical, medical and scientific affairs at Welch Allyn, there is a direct correlation between contaminated cuffs and infections. "Studies show that using one cuff per patient, and adhering to diligent cleaning and disinfection practices, reduces the risk of cross contamination significantly," says Dubay. "FlexiPort enables a single cuff to be used on multiple devices, so it is no surprise that it has been well received by infection prevention experts across the country and now at Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System."

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