What can Hospitals do to Reduce the Rate of Bed Sores in Their Facilities?

By Nursing Home Law Center

Stethoscope

In order for hospitals to reduce the rate of bed sores (also commonly referred to as: pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), the facility first must acknowledge that bed sores acquired in a hospital setting are a real problem.

Hospital administrators should take note of the program implemented by Texas Arlington Memorial Hospital to reduce hospital-acquired bed sores. The program implemented by Texas Arlington resulted in a 63% reduction in pressure sores. This hospital accomplished this by taking the following steps:

  • Identifying decubitus ulcers on all new admissions.

  • Reducing use of diapers amongst patients.

  • Encouraging all staff to look for and document decubitus ulcers, even in their earliest stages.

  • Paying extra attention to patients who are bed bound or who’s skin comes into contact with medical equipment like oxygen masks or tubing.

  • Implementing daily skin checks and intensive, hospital-wide skin checks on a quarterly basis to help the facility keep accurate tabs on how well its wound prevention program is working.

  • Empowering all staff to bring the early signs of bed sores to the attention of physicians and supervisors.

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