Preventing pressure ulcers, injuries in hospitals

November 1, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services no longer provides reimbursement for hospitals to care for a patient who has acquired a pressure ulcer while under the care of a hospital. This presents a very important challenge to reduce the occurrence of pressure ulcers and improve patient outcomes. WSHA is committed to supporting, guiding and assisting hospital staff in implementing effective pressure ulcer prevention practices.

A high-quality prevention program requires an interdisciplinary approach to implement and operationalize best practices that include fundamental elements: organizational leadership, effective teamwork and communication.

More than 2.5 million people in the United States develop pressure ulcers annually. These skin lesions bring pain, associated risk for serious infection and increased health care utilization. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has designed a toolkit to assist hospitals with the implementation of evidenced-based practices in pressure ulcer prevention.

AHRQ developed the Pressure Injury Prevention in Hospitals Training Program to support the training of hospital staff on how to implement AHRQ’s Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals Toolkit. The content of the training program and supporting materials help hospitals become familiar with each of the components of the toolkit and learn how to overcome the challenges associated with developing, implementing and sustaining a pressure injury prevention program.

Read more about pressure injuries on WSHA’s pressure injuries page. (Tina Seery)

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