Preventing pressure ulcers at Beverly Hospital
202-bed acute care facility in Montebello, California
Stephanie discovered a problem in her first week on the job at Beverly Hospital: pressure ulcers. 38 of them had been reported in a single month. Beverly Hospital was struggling with a pervasive pressure ulcer problem.
Pressure ulcers develop quickly and can be difficult to identify early. Patients with pressure ulcers experience longer lengths of stay, readmission, and even death in some cases. A single pressure ulcer is costly to treat and can also result in reimbursement penalties ranging from $2,000 to $70,000.
When Stephanie met with her team, she found that they had already put a few logical prevention tactics into place, but the change hadn’t been meaningful or sustained.
Stephanie recognized that Beverly Hospital needed a new approach to pressure ulcers.
She wanted to learn what strategies and tactics had worked for other organizations, but didn’t know where to start—until she learned her organization had an Advisory Board membership.
Stephanie connected with Anne, a researcher at Advisory Board and an expert on nursing. She sent Stephanie a study detailing nine proven strategies for preventing pressure ulcers, as well as an in-depth presentation of the study that her teammate recorded. Stephanie and her directors watched the presentation together and learned about best practices for training nurses, integrating staging guidelines into workflow, using the Braden scale to simplify interventions, and supporting their staff.
Now, the Beverly leadership team had a plan.
Armed with this new knowledge, they quickly built and implemented a strategy involving staff education, organization-wide collaboration, clear accountability and a culture of prevention. Specific tactics included:
In their first month after implementing the new strategy and tactics, Stephanie’s hospital reported only 7 pressure ulcers—and after just six months, Beverly Hospital eliminated pressure ulcers completely.