Valuable Information on Preventing Pressure Ulcers
According to information by the Minnesota Hospital Association
Preventing Pressure Ulcers – Patients in the hospital are at risk of developing pressure ulcers, or bedsores, if their skin is exposed to long periods of unrelieved pressure. And, pressure ulcers are typically the most reported adverse health event. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, each year more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. develop pressure ulcers. The injuries to the skin and underlying tissue are painful and increase risk for infection or other complications.
In addition to patients who cannot change position, the following circumstances increase the risk of a patient developing a pressure ulcer:
- Wetness from continuous or periodic loss of bowel
- Not eating or drinking enough
- Reduced mental awareness or confusion and/or bladder control
Minnesota hospitals are hard at work to eliminate serious pressure ulcers for patients and great progress has been made. Since 2003, hospitals have been reporting stage III and stage IV pressure ulcers to the state. Beginning in 2007, hospitals also started reporting unstageable pressure ulcers to the state.
SAFE SKIN – Preventing Pressure Ulcers
In 2007, the Minnesota Hospital Association initiated the Call to Action framework around skin safety in an effort towards preventing pressure ulcers, resulting in SAFE SKIN. SAFE SKIN provides hospitals with resources of best clinical practices to prevent pressure ulcers, a road map of best practices and a tool kit to implement the road map recommendations in their facilities. Currently, 93 hospitals are participating in SAFE SKIN, which means they have agreed to implement the best practices as outlined in the road map. The SAFE SKIN road map is based on the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Skin Safety Protocol, Adverse Health Event Learnings, and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society’s (WOCN) Clinical Practice Guidelines.
To further expand the reach of the SAFE SKIN initiative, MHA launched SAFE SKIN 2.0 in 2011, which makes best practice recommendations for the operating room and preventing device-related pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers are also one of the 10 areas of focus being addressed through the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network. This public-private partnership, which builds on the work already underway through SAFE SKIN, aims to reduce pressure ulcers by 40 percent by 2013.
Report Suspected Abuse and Neglect – Preventing Pressure Ulcers
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about pressure sore injury or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.