How digital chest drainage systems advance care
Digital chest drainage systems deliver proven benefits to patients, care teams, and a healthcare institution’s bottom line. When weighing the pros and cons of any system, consider the following 3 ways in which digital can help advance cardiothoracic care:
1. Improving outcomes with continuous data.
Digital systems capture and display data continuously, enabling cardiothoracic surgeons and nurses to make fast, informed clinical decisions – thereby improving outcomes. Digital systems can also improve care efficiencies by: 1-2
- Strictly regulating and maintaining intrapleural pressure within a set range for therapeutic consistency (versus higher pressure variability/inconsistency with analog systems).
- Delivering real-time air leak and fluid trending data over a 72-hour period.
- Eliminating subjective interpretations of bubbling in the water seal with analog systems
- Unifying hospital practices and protocols by use of objective data.
- Transferring patient data from the device to computer systems for analysis and documentation.
ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) guidelines emphasize the importance of accurate air leak measurements in patients with thoracostomy. Analog chest drainage systems may not be the best bet for meeting these new standards of accuracy. Digital systems, on the other hand, can deliver the objectively accurate air leak measurements ERAS demands.
2. Creating more positive patient experiences.
Cardiothoracic patients with chest drainage systems have expressed concerns around mobility, convenience, and comfort with analog systems.
In contrast, 100% of patients reported a more positive experience with digital chest drainage systems, according to a clinical study.1
Specific areas where patients reported a superior experience with digital included:1
- Their ability to get up out of bed (p=0.008).
- Improved convenience for themselves – and the teams caring for them (p=0.02).
3. Reducing chest tube duration/length of stay.
With digital chest drainage systems, care teams can more accurately determine when it is time to pull the drain, which results in shorter chest tube duration compared with analog systems. As a consequence, patient length of stay in the hospital is significantly reduced – as are the subsequent healthcare costs.
Across the board, digital chest drainage systems achieved significantly shorter:1
- Air leak duration versus analog systems (1.0 and 2.2 days, respectively; p=0.001)
- Chest tube duration versus analog systems (3.6 and 4.7 days, respectively; p=0.0001)
- Postoperative length of stay versus analog systems (4.6 and 5.6 days, respectively; p<0.0001)