A multidisciplinary process improvement program was initiated at the University of Miami Hospital (UMH) in 2009 to identify the prevalence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) at the institution and to implement interventions to reduce the incidence of HAPU. This deliberate and thoughtful committee-driven process evaluated care, monitored results, and designed evidence-based strategic initiatives to manage and reduce the rate of HAPU. As a result all inpatient beds were replaced with support surfaces, updated care delivery protocols were created, and monitored, turning schedules were addressed, and a wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurse and support staff were hired. These initial interventions resulted in a decrease in the prevalence of HAPU at UMH from 11.7% of stage II to IV ulcers in the second quarter, 2009 to 2.1% the third quarter. The rate remained at or near the 2009 UMH benchmark of 3.1% until the first quarter of 2012 when the rate rose to 4.1%. At that time new skin products were introduced into practice and continuing re-education was provided. The rate of HAPU dropped to 2.76% by the second quarter of 2012 and has remained steadily low at 1%-2% for nine consecutive quarters.
Keywords: hospital-acquired pressure ulcers; pressure ulcer prevention; pressure ulcer prevention education; skin care.