Wimmera Health Care Group has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of pressure injuries in patients and residents thanks to a program designed by the organisation.
Clinical risk manager Sally Taylor said staff commenced the wound improvement program in March 2013 after an audit showed a pressure injury prevalence of 25.9%.
The program covered all aspects of wound management, and all types of wounds, but the specific focus was on the prevention and management of pressure injuries.
“Pressure injuries pose a significant challenge to healthcare systems and can lead to discomfort, pain and increased lengths of hospital stay,” Ms Taylor said.
“Immobility, decreased sensation and altered health status, combined with an increased time spent chair or bed bound, can all lead to an increased risk of pressure injury development.”
Ms Taylor said the program included an intense education program delivered to all staff. Dressing products were decreased and streamlined to decrease confusion among staff and ensure consistency of treatment. Equipment was standardised and new pressure redistribution equipment was purchased.
“Regular audits continually monitored changes and addressed education where needed. Posters and educational material have been developed for patients, residents and staff to increase the awareness of pressure injury risk and includes strategies for the prevention and management of risk,” she said.
“The latest audit in March showed a pressure injury prevalence rate of 2.2%, an enormous improvement in the prevention of pressure injuries within the organisation.
“The success of this program has seen a huge improvement in clinical outcomes for both our patients and residents.”
The program has been showcased to other participants in the health industry with a successful poster presentation being awarded third prize at the 2014 APAC Forum in Melbourne and most recently director of clinical services Don McRae and wound clinical nurse consultant Marita Ticchi were invited to present the success of the program to a Wound Management Wellbeing Forum in Sydney.