Topic: ‘TENA Identifi system enables evidence-based continence assessments

Day: Thursday 22 October 2020

Time:  3:30pm-4:00pm AEDT


ProblemProblemThe interim report of The Royal Commission into Aged Care and Quality found that incontinence was a key issue in residential aged care facilities (RACF’s). Four key issues were identified: 1. Management of incontinence is poor2. Many RACF’s do not conduct regular toileting 3. Many ration pad usage and many residents are left in pads soaked with urine or faeces 4. The aged care workforce is under enormous pressure with not enough staff and limited time to deliver quality careObjective1. Provide individualised, person- centred continence care2. Improve time management and reduce workload for care staffMethodPilot studies were conducted in Europe with TENA Identifi commencing in 2013. After a large body of global evidence was reviewed, it was then adopted in Australia in Dec 2018. It was rolled out across 50 Blue Care RACF’s and has now been adopted by many other facilities across Australia.The system comprises 3 elements: 1. Special pads which contain sensors that track voiding patterns of a resident for 72 hours (3 days). 2. A reusable and removable logger that is attached to sensor wear pads, that transmit voiding data to a secure web portal. 3. A voiding graph is then generated at the end of the 72 hours, to show volumes voided, frequency of voids, and times voided by the resident, to allow care staff to create an accurate, unbiased continence care plan.Results Trials conducted in Denmark (2013- 2015) showed a 24% reduction in pad absorbency required for residents (many residents were using pads of a higher absorbency/cost than needed) (1) In the Netherlands in 2018, a trial showed a 21% reduction in pad changes needed by residents (as they were allocated the “right” product and level of absorbency), 45% of residents reported a better timing for toileting (2). In Australia, results were more favorable based on assessments from July 2018 – Nov 2019; there was a 42% reduced pad absorbency required, 25% reduction in pad changes. (3)ConclusionTENA Identifi can improve the quality of care with accurate continence assessments and create detailed continence reporting. Better toileting schedules and product choices, less pad changes, can improve time management and reduce workload for care staff.  Identifi allows residents to age with confidence and comfort. Considering 70.9% of residents in RACF’s with incontinence, and the recent Commission findings, getting continence management right is significant (4) 





Dr Meg Polacsek is Senior Researcher at Benetas. Prior to joining Benetas, Meg worked in a range of research and project management roles in the academic, public health and non-profit sectors. Having worked as a personal carer and quality officer in residential and community aged care, Meg is passionate about developing and implementing evidence-informed, person-centred approaches to care that make a difference in real world settings. She has published and presented widely on research findings, and theoretical and methodological issues in research, and has developed and delivered specialist workshops and co-design events.