Research compares Braden Scale, MDS for effectiveness

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A new tool may save time and reduce redundant risk-evaluation efforts.
A new tool may save time and reduce redundant risk-evaluation efforts.

A newly developed alternative pressure ulcer risk assessment tool may reduce nurse workload duplication compared to the more widely used Braden Scale, Canadian researchers have found. The study involved a retrospective chart review on 51 patients at Saint-Vincent Hospital, Bruyère Continuing Care, a continuing care facility in Ontario. 

The researchers found the Braden Scale categorized 63% of patients at low or very low risk upon admission, compared with 33% for the Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 Pressure Ulcer Risk Scale (PURS). PURS also categorized more patients – 45% – as high or very high risk, compared with 21% using the Braden Scale.

The study authors noted that  because the PURS items are already collected for the MDS as part of the federally mandated process for clinical assessment of all residents in certified nursing homes, using it as an alternative to the Braden scale saves staff time and reduces workload duplication.

“Both scales predict risk, and clinicians need to increase their familiarity with the PURS by using it often and understanding its value,” said Gail Woodbury, BScPT, MSc, Ph.D., and study co-authors. Administrators could support education about the PURS and ensure workload allows “clinicians to provide the best patient care to reduce the risk of developing pressure ulcers.”

Results appeared in Advances in Skin & Wound Care