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Development and Implementation of a Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcer Incidence Tracking System and Algorithm

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Zaratkiewicz S1, Whitney JD, Lowe JR, Taylor S, O’Donnell F, Minton-Foltz P


Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) are a national concern due to patient morbidity, treatment cost, and reimbursement issues. Stages III and IV pressure ulcers (PUs) that occur during hospitalization are among the conditions considered preventable by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Harborview Medical Center (HMC), located in Seattle, WA, is a Level 1 trauma/burn center and safety net hospital serving diverse populations. HMC is committed to providing excellence in care including optimal skin care and PU prevention to people from all walks of life. At HMC a new system for monitoring daily PU incidence, completing monthly multidisciplinary intensive reviews on HAPUs, and application of an algorithm used to determine if HAPUs were avoidable was developed and implemented. This system has assisted HMC in addressing PU tracking, prevention, compliance with regulatory mandates and has improved skin-related outcomes.

Resource: J Healthc Qual. 2010 Nov-Dec;32(6):44-51.