Reducing Pressure Injuries in Hospitals
Pressure injuries (formerly called pressure ulcers) are considered preventable by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS), but they still happen despite high standards of care. They are debilitating, painful, and expensive. Hospital-acquired stage 3 and 4 pressure injuries cost $70,000 to $150,000 and are not reimbursed by CMS. Each year, 2.5 million patients suffer from varying stages of pressure injures at a cost of about $12 billion. About 60,000 patients die as a direct result of pressure injuries each year.
It has long been established that the key to preventing pressure injuries is prompt recognition of risk factors and early initiation of prevention measures. Factors in assessing patient risk include position, nutrition, and skin condition.
Pressure injuries can be avoided by adhering to well-established prevention practices, including regular patient repositioning, skin and nutrition assessment, and use of specialty surfaces. So why do pressure injuries still occur? A major US health system employed the Amplifire training tool to acquire data on what its nurses knew and didn’t know about pressure injury prevention strategies, and to find and fix any misinformation.