Ask the Treatment Expert about ... benchmarking data for a pressure injury program

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Jeri Lundgren, RN, BSN, PHN, CWS, CWCN, CPT
Jeri Lundgren, RN, BSN, PHN, CWS, CWCN, CPT

How can I use benchmarking data to improve my pressure injury program?

Tracking pressure injury data can help you identify where in your facility you might be struggling and/or whether a certain resident position is problematic.

In most facilities, pressure injuries are tracked as in-house acquired or admit- ted. I recommend breaking down this data even further.

First, monitor to see if any pressure injuries (whether in-house acquired or admitted) have declined.

Next, track where in the facility — meaning on what nursing unit(s) — your in-house and declining wounds are. This will help assess whether a certain unit is struggling with the program. Last, track where on the body the pressure injuries are located; this might help identify problematic resident positions.

If the pressure injuries are on the heels, look at how you are elevating the heels o the bed. If the pressure injuries are on the ischial tuberosities, ensure the resident has an appropriate wheel- chair cushion and review the amount of time spent sitting up in the wheelchair.

If the resident must have the head of the bed elevated more than 30 degrees (which creates a sitting position), look at the bed surface and the ability to turn the resident onto his or her sides as tolerated.

If the pressure injury is on the sacrum (from a supine position) look at the bed surface and turning program, limiting time on the area as much as possible. Finally, if the pressure injury is on the hips (from lying directly on that side) limit the amount of time on that side and/or look at the bed support surface.

Overall, breaking down the data of in-house and declining wounds to location in the facility and location on the body will help you identify root cause and target your performance improvement program.

Please send your wound treatment-related questions to “Ask the Expert” at ltcnews@mcknights.com.