A painful subject: handling the issue of pressure ulcers
To tie in with the Worldwide Stop Pressure Ulcer Day, Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) has been leveraging since 2013 to promote the discussion and development of initiatives to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers among bed-bound patients at the hospital.
“We began taking serious note of this issue in 2005, because our pressure ulcer incidence rate was double the ceiling rate set under the Hospital Authority’s Key Performance Index standards,” explains Susan Law, Nurse Consultant (Wound & Stoma Care) at Princess Margaret Hospital. “We implemented a series of remedial measures, which has led to us achieving a ‘pass’ in recent years.”
The measures implemented at PMH included four major initiatives:
1.An inter-departmental committee to monitor the situation was set up in 2012 with doctors, dietitian, occupational therapist and frontline nurses as memebrs The committee meets quarterly and is chaired by a nurse.
2.More preventative equipment was introduced at the hospital, including pressure-relieving mattresses, pressure-reducing seating cushions and foam heel and elbow protectors.
3.Committee members regularly conduct pressure ulcer rounds on the wards to provide frontline staff with information and advice on the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers, such as how best to reposition patients. The findings of the committee members on these rounds will be compiled in a short report for further reference and, if required, follow-up action.
4.All inpatients now undergo a pressure ulcer risk assessment on admission, once at three days, once weekly and whenever condition change.