BATESVILLE, Ind. -- Today, findings of the 10th annual International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey (IPUPS) were released by Hill-Rom, the health care unit of Hillenbrand Industries. These results document the potential for decreasing by half the incidence rate of pressure ulcers in acute care facilities and substantiate an opportunity for hospitals to dramatically reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers through specially designed prevention programs. The study is of particular interest following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recent announcement that treatment of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers would no longer be reimbursed.
The broad and in-depth survey documented that nearly half of all adult patients in acute care facilities were assessed to be at high risk for the development of pressure ulcers. Although hospitals are beginning to incorporate comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention programs, still over 75 percent of the high risk patients did not receive such a program. Implementing a comprehensive approach like the new Safe Skin(TM) Program offered by Hill-Rom was shown in the IPUPS data to significantly decrease the incidence rate of pressure ulcers from 7.8 percent to 3.8 percent in the high-risk group.
Based on the survey prevalence, it can be estimated that more than 900,000 Medicare patients annually will develop pressure ulcers. According to a 2003 study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the excess cost of treating a hospital-acquired pressure ulcer is $10,845, potentially leading to more than $10 billion of total Medicare reimbursements annually. The recent CMS announcement regarding pressure ulcer treatment reimbursement requires hospital leaders to take a closer look at pressure ulcer prevention programs. Doing so could save hospitals millions of dollars nationwide.
"Healthcare providers across the country are doing an outstanding job to improve outcomes for patients and, as evidenced by this data, are working diligently to keep pressure ulcer incidence levels from increasing," said Melissa Fitzpatrick, RN, MSN, FAAN, vice president and chief clinical officer for Hill-Rom. "We know and understand the challenges that caregivers face in reducing that number. What we've seen is that when healthcare teams adopt an integrated program to focus on safe skin, they achieve results."
The 2007 Hill-Rom IPUPS data results were delivered through a survey of 653 healthcare facilities and included more than 82,000 patients, representing an estimated 10 percent of all U.S. acute care hospitals. The IPUPS study results are widely regarded by hospital leaders as being nationally representative of trends in healthcare facilities. The data used to compile the IPUPS report is also commonly submitted by organizations to databases, such as the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), as a key quality indicator when seeking and maintaining nursing magnet status. The study has been conducted for 10 years since 1991 and annually since 2003. Survey information is submitted by hospital teams into a database administered by Hill-Rom representatives. Individual facility data is then shared with each participating hospital, and also is aggregated to provide an industry-wide assessment.
The Hill-Rom Safe Skin Program combines clinical expertise with proven technologies to help caregivers take steps toward reducing pressure ulcers. Hill-Rom's wound prevention experts offer comprehensive clinical consulting and education for hospital teams. Hill-Rom has developed innovative technologies designed to help prevent pressure ulcers such as the new Envision low air loss surface bed and TotalCare SpO2RT Bed System with Next Generation Low Air Loss (LAL). These products are designed to manage the skin's microclimate by enhancing air flow next to the body, so that moisture and heat are pulled away from the patient. In addition, Hill-Rom partners with healthcare providers by bringing integrated solutions to the design of customized programs that address specific clinical improvement needs.