Develop a Seamless Individualized Pressure Ulcer Care Plan

by Dr. James G. Spahn, MD, FACS Copyright 2006

Pressure ulcers have become a serious reportable quality of care event and the complexities of this problem continue to challenge the healthcare community.  The awareness of pressure ulcers has been brought on by verifiable facts. The mortality rate directly related to pressure ulcers continues to increase while the morbidity associated with pressure ulcers is reflected in prolonged hospitalization, inferior medical results and increased spending.

The cost of pressure ulcer care is staggering. The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a survey showing a 63% increase in pressure ulcer occurrence in acute care hospitals from 1993 to 2003 (Russo, 2006). A 2006 study published in Ostomy Wound Management states, “The cost of treating pressure ulcers places a great burden on healthcare facilities, increasing expenses in areas such as supplies, specialty beds, nutritional support, labs, and extra staff time required as the severity of the ulcer increases (Pompeo, 2001). The annual direct cost of treating pressure ulcers in US hospitals is estimated by the Advisory Board Company in 2004 to range from $400,000 to $700,000 per year (Diamond, McGlinchey, 2004) for direct treatment costs for hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. In a review of 218 research articles, (Lyder , 2002) it was reported the cost of treatment to range from $500 to $40,000 per ulcer and that a single hospital stay due to a pressure ulcer often exceeds $200,000 in costs. These financial considerations fail to take into account the additional pain and suffering experienced by the patients. The Advisory Board Company estimated that 60,000 deaths each year are associated with complications from pressure ulcers”(Hiser, 2006) (Brem, Lyder, 2004).

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Develop A Seamless Indiviualized Pressure Ulcer Care Plan –
The prevalence of pressure ulcers in patients has been recognized as a quality of care indicator. This mostly preventable condition requires a more aggressive approach to both prevention and treatment protocols.

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