The Sampson Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees applauded the hospital’s acute care units for a quality achievement during its December board meeting Monday night.
Representatives from the patient care teams were present at the meeting to receive a Certificate of Recognition for reaching 365 consecutive days without identification of a pressure wound developing after admission.
Pressure wounds are a nationwide challenge in hospitals. In the United States alone, complications from pressure wounds cause an alarming 60,000 deaths per year. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), found that patients with a pressure wound stay, on average, three times longer in the hospital. Reducing and preventing pressure wounds requires a coordinated system approach involving many throughout the organization.
In an effort to reduce pressure wounds developing after admission to a rate below national averages, Sampson Regional Medical Center developed a team of Wound Care Champions. The team has provided superb risk assessment upon each patient’s arrival to the hospital throughout the entirety of the patients stay. Pressure wound prevention and other quality improvements require a constant team effort, showing true diligence and commitment to patient needs, according to hospital leadership.
“At Sampson Regional, we constantly strive to provide safe and quality care for our patients,” stated Dianna Palacios, Director of ICU/Medical-Surgical Units, who led the development of the Wound Care Champion team to receiving special training to identify pressure wounds on admission. “In addition to detection at admission, we have focused on turning our patients who need complete assistance, encouraging ambulation with the help of a great Physical Therapy team, and educating our patients and families about movement and great nutrition. It has truly been an organizational team effort and I am very proud of what we have accomplished.”
There is much to gain from pressure wound prevention, both in the form of benefiting patients to reducing cost. According to the National Pressure Ulcers Advisory Panel, 2.5 million patients a year develop a pressure ulcer after patient admission. This cost healthcare systems $9-11 billion annually. For a single patient with Stage III/IV pressure ulcers, the national average is $70,000-$150,000 for treatment.
With a continued commitment to excellence, the acute care team members are proving that the true beneficiaries are the patients who depend on the continued partnership of physicians and nurses to successfully address their personal health care needs. “I’m very proud of the patient care team in the Acute Care Units at Sampson-RMC. The accomplishment of 365 days without pressure wounds is achieved by an interdisciplinary group of care providers dedicated to great patient care,” emphasized Allison Taylor, chief nursing officer and vice president of Clinical Services.
She explained that hourly rounding, turning, mobility of patients, nutrition assessment, and great attention to the needs of the patients are some of the methods used to bring about this quality achievement.
“It takes hospital nurses, nursing assistants, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and techs, unit secretaries, physicians, dieticians, and other care providers working together to be successful at this goal,” she added.
Taylor not only spoke to the accomplishment of the Acute Care Units, but SampsonRMC performing well above national averages. “The average prevalence rate for hospital acquired pressure wounds in the acute care setting is 1.8 percent. For SampsonRMC, 1.8 percent of our admissions into acute care would mean approximately 50 patients. The cost of a hospital acquired pressure ulcer is approximately $40,000 and in certain cases, non-reimbursable,” she stated.
Improving quality care outcomes and continuing to lower healthcare spending through evidence-based results shows the undeniable commitment to SampsonRMC patients. As Taylor puts it, “We are committed to employing care providers that our patients deserve. This is one great example of that care.”