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Prevention of Pressure Ulcers

What is a pressure ulcer?  Pressure ulcers are areas of skin and tissue that have broken down and become injured.  Also called pressure sores, bedsores, or decubitus (dee-cube-it-us) ulcers, they are usually caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long, such as being in a hospital bed.  That puts pressure on certain areas of the body.  The pressure reduces the blood supply to the skin and the tissues under the skin.  When a change in position doesn't occur often enough and the blood supply gets too low, a sore may form.

 

It is important to assess and identify patients at risk for developing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers.  Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) prolong the hospital stay, exposing patients to the risks of an extended hospitalization, and may contribute to complications and patient discomfort.

 

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  • Since implementation of pressure relief surfaces and intense focus on skin care, there has been a steady decrease in the number of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers.
  • Compliance with skin intake assessment is at 100%, and reassessment is done at least every 24 hours.
  • The Division of Healthcare Quality’s clinical nurse reviewers work closely with coding compliance analysts to validate the clinical documentation of pressure ulcers, especially those that may be hospital-acquired.
  • Any pressure ulcers that occur are reviewed (“mini” root cause analysis) to determine how we can prevent future breakdowns.

 

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  • BFMC participates in the Massachusetts Pressure Ulcer Collaborative.
  • Inpatient units have had great success adhering to a method for identification of patients admitted with pre-existing skin breakdown.
  • Skin care protocols are utilized to prevent breakdown and to treat existing breakdown.
  • Multi-disciplinary rounds have enhanced the capacity to discuss patients at-risk for skin breakdown and have resulted in timely preventative or treatment measures.

 

For more information on Quality at Baystate Health

For more information on Baystate Medical Center

For more information on Baystate Franklin Medical Center

For more information on Baystate Mary Lane Hospital

For more information on PatientCareLink

 

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  • BMLH continues to hold the gains established after a major performance improvement initiative was undertaken to decrease the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers.
  • BMLH has sustained a zero percent hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rate for the past 7 years.

 

For more information on Quality at Baystate Health

For more information on Baystate Medical Center

For more information on Baystate Franklin Medical Center

For more information on Baystate Mary Lane Hospital

For more information on PatientCareLink