Hospitals Launch Program to Prevent Pressure Ulcers as a Part of Federal Initiative


Hospitals participating in the Partnership for Patients initiative have launched a program to prevent pressure ulcers.

 The goal of the sprint program, conducted by the Premier healthcare alliance, is to make rapid, sustainable performance improvements in pressure ulcer reduction. To do so, sprint participants will:

- Analyze successful processes for the proactive prevention of pressure ulcers

- Explore creative techniques that can be used to engage hospital staff in evidence-based practice

- Compare the efficacy of products and devices available for pressure ulcer prevention

- Implement suggested tools and resources to improve performance.

Hospitals taking part in the sprint have joined with Premier to participate in Partnership for Patients. With more than 450 hospitals participating, Premier is the second largest of 26 Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) approved by CMS to participate in the initiative.

A pressure ulcer is a localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, as a result of pressure, or of pressure in combination with a shear force or friction. More than 2.5 million people develop pressure ulcers annually in healthcare settings and at home. Estimates suggest 50 percent of the most dangerous hospital-acquired pressure ulcers are preventable. The goal set for Partnership for Patients hospitals is to reduce preventable hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by 50 percent by 2013. Over three years this could prevent nearly 110,000 pressure ulcers.

The pressure ulcer sprint, conducted over 90 days, will consist of four learning sessions. A particular measure or bundle of measures becomes a candidate for a sprint if data shows a large opportunity for improvement. In this case, the sprint will focus on three of the Partnership for Patients pressure ulcer performance measures:
- Process measure Percentage of acute care inpatients with a pressure ulcer or pressure ulcer risk with documented periodic assessment for specific risk factors 
- Hospital-acquired pressure ulcer stages III and IV

Sprint participants benefit from evidence-based resources, hospital success stories and Premiers care process maps to drive improvements. Premier will conduct sprints across all 10 of the Partnership for Patients focus areas, which include: adverse drug events; obstetrical adverse events; venous thromboembolism; injury from falls and immobility; preventable readmissions; and five different healthcare-associated infections.

Some sprints will be conducted within Premiers QUEST® collaborative, in which 157 hospitals saved nearly 25,000 lives and $4.5 billion over three years. More than 350 hospitals participate in the collaborative today, a number of which are in Premiers PFP HEN.

Our experience has shown that sprints are a key way to improve performance in the delivery of evidence-based care measures, says Carolyn Scott, RN, MEd, MHA, Premier service line vice president of quality and safety. Its an opportunity to connect hospitals nationwide with the best clinical practices to improve quality, reduce costs and coordinate care delivery.

Partnership for Patients, established by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center), offers support to physicians, nurses and other clinicians working in and out of hospitals. The goal is to keep patients from getting injured or sicker while in the hospital so they can heal without complications.

Specifically, participants focus on reducing preventable readmissions to hospitals by 20 percent and reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent by the end of 2013. In doing so, CMS estimates the partnership has the potential to, over the next three years:
- Save 60,000 lives
- Reduce millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care
- Save as much as $35 billion, including up to $10 billion in savings to Medicare

As a HEN, Premier is helping identify the solutions already working to reduce healthcare-acquired conditions, and spread them to other hospitals and healthcare providers.

Premiers HEN participants benefit from Premiers:
- Intensive training and education programs to make patient care safer
- Technical assistance to achieve quality measurement goals
- Online repository of safety literature and implementation strategies
- National and regional best practice sharing forums
- Data benchmarking and tracking to measure progress in meeting quality improvement goals

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals and 84,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high-quality, cost-effective care.


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