Determining the efficacy of a pressure ulcer prevention program by collecting prevalence and incidence data: a unit-based effort

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2003 May;49(5):44-6, 48-51.


Pressure ulcer prevention falls within the domain of nursing practice. When the results of a quality improvement survey indicated both an increase in the number of pressure ulcers and a higher prevalence than the national average, the nursing staff of a 500-bed Midwest hospital developed a pressure ulcer prevention program guided by the AHCPR guidelines. The literature supports collecting prevalence and incidence data as indicators of prevention program effectiveness, and the best indicator of the effectiveness of prevention strategies to reduce nosocomial pressure ulcers is incidence. Since the tracking mechanism was instituted, awareness of the results and impact of prevention measures increased; most nursing units experienced a 10% to 20% decrease in the incidence of pressure ulcers. Designing an efficient, timely, and practical method of retrieving pressure ulcer prevalence and incidence data provided a quality assurance method of monitoring the success of the program.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Prevalence
  • Program Evaluation*