Pressure ulcers (sometimes called "bed sores") affect millions of patients in hospitals every year. They are not only painful, causing blistering and bleeding, but also can be dangerous.
That's one of the reasons Northwest Hospital began a comprehensive education program last year that has succeeded in virtually eliminating pressure ulcers from patients in the hospital.
"Pressure ulcer management is a big part of what I do," says Deborah Greener-Orr, Ph.D., RN, a former certified Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse at Northwest who spearheaded the program. "Over the course of six months we've provided education to the staff, and I think the education part has been very exciting."
At the beginning of the six-month trial, there was a prevalence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in the geriatric unit that was around 25 percent, she says. At the end of the trial, the prevalence went to zero.
The program was implemented in collaboration with Medline Industries, Inc. , a provider of health care products and the developer of the pressure ulcer reduction system, which provided helpful educational materials and products.