Hospital-acquired bedsores challenge patients and SNFs

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Dual eligibles living in nursing homes are less likely to be hospitalized, researchers say
Dual eligibles living in nursing homes are less likely to be hospitalized, researchers say

Investigators have found that people who develop bedsores in a hospital were more likely to be readmitted within 30 days, stay at the hospital longer — and die.

The examination is believed to be the first to use data directly from medical records to assess the impact of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers on Medicare patients at both the national and state levels.

For the study, which appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers tracked more than 51,000 randomly selected Medicare beneficiaries who had been hospitalized during 2006 and 2007. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services funded the investigation.

“Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers were shown to be an important risk factor associated with mortality,” said Courtney Lyder, ND, lead investigator and dean of the UCLA School of Nursing. “It is incumbent upon hospitals to identify individuals at high risk for these ulcers and implement preventive interventions immediately upon admission.”

According to Lyder and his research team, individuals at the highest risk are those with existing chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, as well as those on steroids. As nursing homes increasingly receive such patients, they will need to be especially diligent about monitoring care and preventing readmissions, experts caution. 

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