The Dermal Defense Team at Temple University Hospital won the eighth annual 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety, 3M and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society announced.

In early 2018, the team refocused on prevention protocols through comprehensive education, risk assessment, and other preventative efforts, the company said. Its goal was zero Stage 3 and 4 pressure injuries developed, which they reached by the third quarter of 2018.

Among their practices was 100% compliance with using sacral and heel foam borders when appropriate, using fewer than four linen layers on beds and having more patients out of bed or positioned on their side rather than on their back.

“Your skin is your first line of protection, and we are charged to protect it,” said Meghan Dunleavy, BSN, RN, a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Temple University Hospital. “Caring for skin helps patients feel you care about them, and the small changes it takes to focus on skin don’t take much time, but they have a big impact. Our team is focused on all aspects of the skin, with all therapies coming together to help decrease length of stay and injury and meet our skin care goals.”

The Dermal Defense Team expanded in 2016 when the hospital began the process of seeking Magnet® status. The team now includes more than 58 skin “champions” — including patient care assistants (PCAs), registered nurses, representatives from all nursing units, and departments such as physical therapy. The team meets monthly to discuss goals, results and education on preventing pressure injuries and skin breakdown. They wear bright yellow T-shirts saying they will “Prevent, Protect and Save” during monthly data collections, which the team said reflects a visual commitment to care.

“Our T-shirts are highly visible,” said Diane Wagner, MSN, BSN, RN, CWOCN, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Dermal Defense Team Program Chair at Temple University Hospital. “And not only does visibility help reinforce support for skin care across all areas of the hospital, it also facilitates conversations with patients and families about caring for skin and helps those families feel comforted through our care.”

3M presents the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety annually in partnership with the WOCN Society.