Monday, December 2, 2013

Preventing Pressure Ulcers is the New Priority

Preventing pressure ulcers, rather than dealing with them as a “normal complication” for sick patients, is now common practice in many health facilities, according to an article in HealthLeaders.

One such facility, Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., took action against pressure ulcers after it ranked higher than all but 105 other acute care hospitals reporting data on pressure ulcers in 2011, according to the article. Crouse launched numerous initiatives to reduce all of its preventable hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), including a control chart that tracks pressure ulcers at all severity stages by quarter. Teams with both nurse and physician educate frontline staff to be on the lookout for the earliest signs of skin redness and work with a team of wound ostomy nurses to evaluate patients who might be at higher risk.

In addition to the control chart, patient skin assessments are taken on a daily basis at Crouse and new beds designed to prevent pressure ulcers were purchased for the entire hospital. With these pre-emptive initiatives in place, Crouse's rates of severe decubitus ulcers are dropping, hospital officials told HealthLeaders.

The INQRI funded project “Interdisciplinary Mobility Team Approach to Reduction of Facility-Acquired Pressure Ulcers” developed a sustainable, system-wide program for pressure ulcer prevention that enhances mobility of long-term care (LTC) residents. The primary goal, under nursing's leadership, was to reduce LTC facility-acquired pressure ulcer incidence by 50 percent using a cost-effective innovative program to increase resident active or passive movement. The team, which developed and implemented a program that involved using musical cues to remind residents to move or staff to help residents move, was led by Tracey Yap, a nurse researcher, and  Jay Kim, an engineer.

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