Firm grasp of devices, documents urged

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Providers trying to improve pressure ulcer rates should examine equipment and documentation processes, an expert said at the LeadingAge Illinois conference in May.

Administrators need to evaluate whether they have the best equipment, including pressure redistribution bed surfaces such as mattresses, said Jeri Lundgren, RN, BNS, PHN, CWS, CWCN, a clinical consultant with Joerns Healthcare. Every wheelchair should have a cushion, she added, but residents should be encouraged to be mobile. 

“Try to eliminate wheelchairs as much as possible,” she advised.

Staff also must understand documentation.

“F-314 and MDS Section M — a lot of nurses have never read those,” Lundgren said. “You need to be on the same page with how documentation reflects how you are going to treat the wound.”

Wound checks at the nursing home prevent another provider from finding a problem, Lundgren said. “We've had surveyors find wounds, hospitals find wounds,” she noted. 

Empowered aides can be a huge asset. When it comes to skin care, “the facilities that are most successful have the nursing assistants drive it.”