by Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON
Part 1 in a multi-part series looking at the basics of avoiding litigation as a health care provider.
by Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND
Despite all of the advances in risk assessment, prevention and treatment guidelines, support surfaces, nutritional products and vigorous educational efforts, pressure ulcers continue to be a major health care problem worldwide.
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) once again accepted the challenge to increase awareness by participating in the World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day on November 19, 2015. The objective of World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day is to increase national awareness for pressure ulcer prevention and to educate the public on this topic.
As clinicians, we should formulate a plan ahead of World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day and use this opportunity to educate our patients, families and employees on the importance of preventing pressure ulcers. The NPUAP has developed an extensive media materials package appropriate for all health care settings and organizations. The NPUAP website has a wide range of free educational materials that you can download to assist you in increasing awareness about pressure ulcer prevention. Press releases for hospitals and nursing homes are available for the organization to insert their logo and highlight their facilities events promoting this special day. World Wide National Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day logos can be download to post in prominent places around your organization.
Some useful tools that you will find in the free NPUAP educational materials is the pressure ulcer fact sheet, which includes pressure ulcer staging definitions with pictures including unstageable pressure ulcers and suspected deep tissue injuries (sDTI). The fact sheet also includes information on best practices for prevention of pressure ulcers caused by medical devices such as feeding tubes, oxygen tubes etc.
The pressure ulcer patient guide is another practical tool to share with caregivers and clients to raise awareness of how serious a pressure ulcer is and how they can be prevented by attending to details including paying attention to what and how much someone is eating. I would suggest supplementing the fact sheet by providing examples, such as meal plans that emphasize the importance of protein, including a variety of fruits and vegetables. Remind caregivers to offer and encourage the consumption of fluids during the day, especially for clients who are unable to drink or eat without assistance.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity and join in this worldwide effort to prevent pressure ulcers.
About The Author
Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND is an award winning dietitian, consultant for MEP Healthcare Dietary Services, published author, and member of the Purdue University Hall of Fame, Department of Foods and Nutrition, having held positions on numerous boards and panels including the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and the American Dietetic Association's Unintentional Weight Loss work group.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.