Ask the treatment expert: How should we calculate pressure ulcer prevalence?

Share this article:
Susan Wickard, RN, BSN, CWCN, CWS, CLNC
Susan Wickard, RN, BSN, CWCN, CWS, CLNC

There has been conflicting advice lately — how should we calculate pressure ulcer prevalence and pressure ulcer incidence rates?

Prevalence is defined as a cross-sectional count of the number of cases at a specific point in time, or the number of people with pressures ulcers who exist in a patient population at a given point in time. 

Prevalence indicates the number of pressure ulcers whether they are present upon or developed after admission. It is a snapshot of the number cases at any given time.

Incidence is defined as the number of new cases appearing in a population and indicates the rate at which new disease occurs in population previously without disease. Incidence will capture the percentage of patients that have developed a new pressure ulcer while in your facility.

To calculate the prevalence rate:  

1.
Take the number of residents with any pressure ulcer and divide by the total number of residents during that month. 

2.
Multiply the results by 100. This equals the prevalence rate.

Example of prevalence rate:  8 residents with pressure ulcers divided by 100 census = 0.08.

Multiply 0.08 by 100 and you get 8%.

To calculate the incidence rate:

1.
The number of residents with a new pressure ulcer developed after admission divided by the total number of residents admitted during that time.

2.
Multiply the results by 100. This equals the incidence rate. 

Example of incidence rate:  2 residents with a new pressure ulcer divided by 100 census = 0.02.

Multiply 0.02 by 100 and you get 2%.

With both, count only the number of residents, not the number of ulcers.



Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...