New Study Proves Facility-Acquired Pressure Ulcers (Bed Sores) Can be Reduced by 81%

In a brand new study entitled "Reducing Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Through a Focused Prevention Program", researchers were able to reduce the prevalence rate for hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers) by a whopping 81%.  The prevalence rate for hospital-acquired pressure ulcers for heels alone was reduced by 90%.  Not only did fewer pressure ulcers develop, but researchers were able to realize significant cost savings as a result.
In order to obtain these great results, researchers measured hospital-acquired pressure ulcer prevalence rates at two large Florida hospitals every six months for four and one-half years.  During that time, they experimented with several measures for reducing pressure ulcers, including electronic medical records, automatic skin care consults, pressure relief equipment, and protocols established by interdisciplinary teams.  The results of the research were published a few days ago and appear in the February 2008 issue of the medical journal Advances in Skin & Wound Care.
Joan McInerney, RN, the lead researcher and author, is a well-respected wound care nurse, and she's done a great job as usual with her research.  I just hope hospital systems, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities read her research.  If they do, particular importance should be paid to the title, which contains the secret for good pressure ulcer prevention -- "focus"!  What works in two Florida hospitals will work in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Virginia and across the country.  Imagine 81% fewer pressure ulcers in these facilities.  That would be a blessing for patients, their families, care providers, an the facilities themselves.  It's a win-win-win-win situation.  It just takes "focus." 
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.