Why are hospital patients at risk for pressure ulcers?
Patients are at risk for pressure ulcers when they can't move easily and have decreased circulation or fragile skin. Changes in cognitive or bowel and bladder function, along with insufficient intake of nutrients and liquids, can also contribute to the development of pressure ulcers.
During hospitalization, patients also may have a variety of tubes, drains and other health care equipment that can cause pressure ulcers.
What does UCSF Medical Center do to prevent hospital-acquired pressure ulcers?
All patient care providers are trained in pressure ulcer prevention. Many techniques are used to prevent pressure ulcers such as providing good skin care, regularly assisting patients to change positions in bed, and using pressure-reducing cushions, mattresses and other devices.
How does UCSF Medical Center measure hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rates?
At UCSF Medical Center, we conduct quarterly pressure ulcer prevalence study days. On these days, every patient in the hospital is examined for evidence of a pressure ulcer. The number of patients with hospital-acquired pressure ulcers is divided by the total number of patients examined on the study day to obtain a percentage of patients with hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. UCSF submits prevalence study data to the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes and to the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators to determine how we compare to other hospitals in California and the nation.