Study Finds 35 to 42 Percent Daily Cost Savings for Hospitals Using Flexi-Seal® Fecal Management System


Fewer Pressure Ulcers and Better Use of Nursing Time Also Cited

Skillman, New Jersey (May 23, 2013) – A new study of the costs of managing fecal incontinence in intensive care units (ICUs) at two Canadian hospitals has found a 35 to 42 percent decrease in daily material costs with the Flexi-Seal® Fecal Management System (FMS) compared to the traditional use of bed pads, briefs and linens.

The study also showed potential additional health and economic benefits from avoiding pressure ulcers, a common complication of fecal incontinence, at the larger of the two hospitals. With the hospital’s estimated treatment cost of CA$20,000 per case, potential additional cost savings per year for the hospital were estimated at nearly CA$8 million.  Additionally, the smaller hospital in the study reported the use of Flexi-Seal® FMS saved valuable nursing time.

The results of the study, which was supported by ConvaTec, were published in the December issue of Ostomy Wound Management.

Based on the reductions in daily material costs, annual savings were projected at CA$627,095 for the larger hospital in the study.  Annual savings on materials for the smaller hospital were projected at CA$57,216.  Average daily material costs per patient ranged from CA$105 to CA$144 with traditional management, falling to CA$61 to CA$94 with Flexi-Seal® FMS.

Fecal incontinence, a common condition affecting patients in intensive care, places an economic burden on hospitals and carries significant risks to patients.  Complications and harmful effects include skin breakdown and the development of pressure ulcers, as well as the spread of C.difficile and other dangerous “superbugs” through infectious diarrhea.  New U.S. health care policies, tied to the Affordable Care Act, increasingly link hospital reimbursement rates to the ability to control such hospital-acquired infections.

With reporting of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) such as pressure ulcers on Hospital Compare ( and the new Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program coming into effect, hospitals are renewing their focus on prevention.  Beginning in 2015, hospitals that rank among the lowest-performing 25 percent regarding HACs will have their reimbursement reduced by 1 percent.

In the study, the larger hospital reported a nearly 20 percent prevalence of pressure ulcers in patients with fecal incontinence when managed traditionally. By contrast, no pressure ulcers were reported in patients managed with Flexi-Seal® FMS.

The smaller hospital reported that daily nursing time per patient was reduced from nearly 6 hours (348 minutes) to 2 hours (120 minutes) – freeing up nursing time for other clinical priorities.

About the Study

The economic analysis included data from the Ottawa Hospital-Civic Campus and Hamilton Health Sciences.  The hospitals reported data on the costs and daily quantity of materials used to manage fecal incontinence with traditional or modern methods.  Daily material costs per patient were calculated using a budget impact model developed by ConvaTec and validated by clinicians.  Annual cost savings were projected based on an average 7-day course of diarrhea for the total number of ICU patients expected to use Flexi-Seal® FMS at each hospital, an estimated 130 patients at Ottawa Hospital-Civic Campus and 2,050 patients at Hamilton Health Sciences.

About Flexi-Seal® Fecal Management from ConvaTec

Flexi-Seal® FMS is used by more hospitals and nurses than any other fecal management system in the world.  Extending this leadership position, ConvaTec recently launched Flexi-Seal® CONTROL™ FMS, the first and only fecal management system that automatically protects against over-inflation of the device’s retention balloon, ensuring an optimal fit and maximum effectiveness.

Flexi-Seal® FMS is a temporary containment device that has been shown to safely and effectively divert fecal matter, helping protect patients’ skin from breakdown. The closed system was also designed to minimize the spread of infection by containing infectious diarrhea. Flexi-Seal® FMS is the only fecal management system that has been proven, in vitro, to contain the spread of C.difficile infection.  Flexi-Seal® FMS is indicated for patients with little to no bowel control and liquid or semi-liquid stool, and can be used for up to 29 consecutive days.

About ConvaTec

ConvaTec is a leading developer and marketer of innovative medical technologies that have helped improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. With four key focus areas – Ostomy Care, Wound Therapeutics, Continence and Critical Care, and Infusion Devices – ConvaTec products support healthcare professionals from the hospital to the community health setting.  


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