Hospital-acquired Pressure Injuries
According to a recent U.S. study, 4-8 percent of all inpatients will develop hospital-acquired pressure injuries. In addition to pain and the risk for serious infections, pressure injuries result in increased length of stay, readmissions and $2.41 billion in excess healthcare costs. Pressure injury prevention requires an interdisciplinary approach to care. Certain aspects of pressure injury prevention care are highly routinized, but the care must also be tailored to the specific risk profile of each patient.
Several evidence-based practices have been shown to be effective in reducing the occurrence of pressure injuries. They include:
- Executive leadership and continuous engagement in reducing harm to patients.
- A dedicated, multidisciplinary team that meets frequently to identify trends and continuous improvement opportunities.
- Early identification, including a comprehensive skin assessment in the first 4 hours of admission.
• Education to clinical team on how to identify, stage and document pressure injuries.
- Standard pressure-relieving surfaces across the continuum.
- Standard risk assessment to address vulnerability in the following populations: consider interventions related to:
- dark-skinned ethnicities
- patients requiring medical device-related therapies
- critically ill patients in the intensive care units
- Effective communication and team-based coordinated care.
- Patient & family engagement in plan of care.