The Preferred Treatment is Prevention
Pressure injuries are painful, quite often increase patient lengths of stay and carry an annual mortality rate of nearly 60,000. It stands to reason why prevention may be the wisest choice.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While Ben Franklin probably wasn’t referring to pressure injuries, he was spot on! And with an estimated 9 to 11 billion dollars spent annually in the US, pressure injuries are kind of a big deal. Patients entering facilities looking for care shouldn’t leave with additional hospital-acquired conditions. Avoiding the avoidable makes good sense.
Pressure injuries are painful, quite often increase patient lengths of stay and carry an annual mortality rate of nearly 60,000. It stands to reason why prevention may be the wisest choice. At the very core, hospitals are in the business to heal. But facilities with excessive hospital-acquired pressure injures on the books are in jeopardy of losing credibility. And patient satisfaction has considerable influence on a facility’s reputation. At the end of the day, good patient care is the best reason to prevent.
And, if not for the patient’s sake, then what about the staff? Clinicians treating pressure injuries are warriors. They certainly proved themselves in the last two years. But pressure injuries aren’t the only conditions competing for the nurse’s attention and treatment is time consuming. Applying measures to prevent the wounds from starting in the first place will help alleviate some of the burden facing caregivers. And fortunately, prevention doesn’t have to be complicated.
But the bottom line is always on the radar, particularly in today’s healthcare climate. Pressure injuries are expensive to treat. Eleven billion dollars expensive. While there has been some debate on the cost of preventative measures versus treatment, prevention typically wins. Pressure injury prevention products on the market today are effective without breaking the bank. But it is not just the cost of treatment that tugs at the hospital’s purse strings. Litigation for pressure injury cases is on the upswing. Nearly 17,000 lawsuits are filed annually.
While it may be unrealistic to assume that ALL pressure injuries can be prevented, according to the industry experts most, indeed, are avoidable. Good treatment protocols are important, but prevention should always be the first line of defense. Pressure Injury Prevention solutions that will cut pressure injuries off at the pass!