The Richwood improves care, reduces cost with pressure ulcer prevention program

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By The Staff

 Pressure ulcers – sometimes called  bed sores – affect millions of people each year. They are painful and dangerous for patients and expensive to treat. The staff of The Richwood in La Grange is implementing a comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention program to reduce pressure ulcers from occurring in their patients while in their facility.

In collaboration with Medline Industries Inc., a provider of healthcare products and the developer of the program, The Richwood staff employed multiple interventions during a six-month period which resulted in a dramatic decrease in the prevalence of pressure ulcers to their patients.

Susan Brock, director of nursing at The Richwood, said she feels that a lot of the decrease has to do with increased staff education on identification of pressure ulcers when patients are admitted to the hospital and the interventions the hospital has put into place.

Specifically, the interventions include products, staffing and family education and clinical support. 

The program also offers facilities assistance in the areas of staff education, training and tracking the program’s effectiveness. Long-term continued support for the program includes webinars, user groups and other peer networking activities. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the total cost of treatment of pressure ulcers in the United States is estimated at $11 billion per year. More than 257,412 preventable pressure ulcers were reported as secondary diagnoses in hospitals in 2007.