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Desert Valley Medical Center First to Use Leaf Patient-Wearable Technology to Help Reduce C-Sections, Speed Labor
Labor and Delivery room deployment expands DVMC use of Leaf devices.

Pleasanton, Calif. (May 5, 2015) — Desert Valley Medical Center, named a Top 100 Hospitals® in the Nation five times, is the first U.S. hospital to deploy the wireless Leaf Patient Monitoring System in its Labor and Delivery rooms to help reduce the duration of labor and risk of caesarian births.

Studies show that labor is shortened and the risk of caesarean birth is reduced in mothers who are upright and mobile during labor.1 However, most mothers in labor are given epidurals and tend to lie in their labor room beds.

As part of a Prime Healthcare system-wide effort to reduce caesarian sections, Desert Valley deployed the Leaf system to be used on mothers who are on epidurals so they can be repositioned every 30 minutes to counter the effects of epidural anesthesia. Nurses will get turn alerts on the Leaf system when the bed-ridden mothers have been in the same position for 30 minutes. Nurses will also be able to see on the Leaf monitor when mothers are sitting upright, a position that's encouraged.

"We hope that turning women who are in labor and on epidurals will speed their labor and reduce the need for c-sections," said Patrick Reinhard, Chief Nursing Officer of Desert Valley Hospital. "We hope the use of Leaf wireless monitoring technology will reduce the length and discomfort of labor and provide expectant mothers with a much easier birth experience."

Desert Valley, located in Victorville, Calif., has been using Leaf sensors throughout its 148-bed facility since March. The community hospital serves some higher risk populations, including elderly and bariatric patients. The hospital was the first to use the Leaf Patient Monitor in its emergency department, to enable the clinical staff to monitor patients who are being observed. Typically, the ED staff is not required to periodically turn patients, the standard of care for the prevention of pressure ulcers.

The Leaf sensors monitor patient positions. The company originally developed its technology to help prevent the occurrence of pressure ulcers by monitoring patient movement. One study found that using Leaf sensors increased compliance with hospital turn protocols—a standard of care to prevent pressure ulcers—from a baseline of 64 percent at the start of the trial to 98 percent after the monitoring system was deployed.

"In general, frequent repositioning and progressive mobility have been shown to provide significant benefits to hospitalized patients. We believe the Leaf technology has applications far beyond pressure ulcer prevention," said Dr. Barrett Larson, Chief Medical Officer of Leaf Healthcare. "For example, in Labor and Delivery, Leaf can help make sure that patients with epidurals are turning sufficiently, which has been shown to help with the laboring process."

The Leaf system is comprised of a small, lightweight, wearable sensor that electronically monitors a patient's position and movements. Data collected by the sensor is communicated wirelessly to central monitoring stations or mobile devices so that caregivers can check on patient position and movement. The system provides alerts when necessary to ensure that all patients wearing a Leaf Sensor are repositioned according to their prescribed turning schedules to reduce incidence of pressure ulcers. The device has been cleared for sale by FDA 510(k).

The national U.S. cesarean rate in 2012 was 32.8 percent, which has remained fairly constant for several years. Cesarean sections are the most common operating room procedure in U.S. hospitals. Overuse of this procedure is associated with excess morbidity in women and babies.2 For both commercial and Medicaid payers, total maternal-newborn costs are about 50 percent higher for cesarean compared with vaginal births.3

Institution-acquired pressure ulcers are a leading threat to modern quality healthcare. Research by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that pressure ulcers cost the nation's healthcare system more than $11 billion a year. The condition is both excruciatingly painful for patients and costly for providers since it is considered preventable and, therefore, does not qualify for reimbursement by government and other payers.

About Desert Valley Medical Center

Desert Valley Medical Center is an innovative, 148-bed acute care hospital that provides state-of-the-art, quality health care. The hospital's emergency department is the most efficient in the region, with Fast Track that significantly reduces patient wait times.

Desert Valley received a coveted "accreditation with commendation" designation in its first year of operation from the Joint Commission. It is a five-time winner of the Top 100 Hospital® in the Nation award presented by Thomson Reuters and has been recognized by Premier/CareScience as one of the Top 1 Percent of Hospitals in the Nation for quality of healthcare. The Hospital Facilities Accreditation Program gave the hospital the highest marks of any hospital in California for quality patient care, with a 99.4 percent score of achievable standards. PacifiCare's Quality INDEX survey conducted in 2004 ranked the hospital the top of the Top 10 Hospitals in California.

About Leaf Healthcare, Inc.

Leaf Healthcare is a medical technology company dedicated to preventing hospital-acquired pressure injuries/ulcers and other immobility-related complications, which are some of the most common and costly hospital-acquired conditions. Several studies have shown that the FDA-cleared Leaf Patient Monitoring System is a powerful tool that reduces hospital-acquired pressure injuries/ulcers, allows providers to prioritize care, and helps provide a safer environment for patients. The Leaf System is available through Leaf Healthcare and Smith & Nephew.

To learn more, visit www.leafhealthcare.com.

Media Contact:

Mark Smith
Vice President
Leaf Healthcare, Inc.

  1. Lawrence A, Lewis L, Hofmeyr GJ, Styles C. Cochrane. Maternal positions and mobility during first stage labour. Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 20;8:CD003934.
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery. March 2014.
  3. Truven Health Analytics. The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States. Ann Arbor: Truven, January 2013.