CMS tries to replicate success of skilled nursing pressure ulcer project

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Federal regulators are appealing to providers to use free materials that helped slash the onset of pressure ulcers by 70% in a recent skilled nursing test project.

The results of the project, if they can be replicated on a wider scale, could have profound effects on providers nationwide. Thirty-five of 52 facilities worked on process improvements and submitted information for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services study.

"This project showed clinicians and managers that major improvement is possible," said Barry M. Straube, MD, chief medical officer for CMS, and director of the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality.

Improvement materials used in the project are available for free at http://www.medqic.org - under the "Nursing Home" tab. Results of the project are also detailed in the current edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Among other findings, researchers wrote that nursing aides and other direct-care workers could be very effective leaders of quality improvement efforts.

"This is a remarkable gain in a large number of facilities, against a condition that is as devastating and costly as it has been resistant to improvement," Acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems said.
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