A Collaborative Multidisciplinary Team for Evidence-Based Practice to Prevent Pressure Ulcers

Thursday, July 14, 2011: 10:15 AM

Elizabeth Roe, RN, PhD
Crystal M Lange College of Health and Human Services, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI
Deborah Williams, RN, BSN, MA, CWOCN
Nursing, Bay Regional Medical Center, Bay City, MI

Learning Objective 1: To describe a collaborative initiative between academia and practice to develop and implement evidence-based practice to prevent and treat pressure sores.

Learning Objective 2: To provide examples of the activities and results of a multidisciplinary team to prevent and treat pressure sores

Since the declaration of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers as a “never event” by regulatory agencies, strategies to decrease the development of pressure ulcers have been even more important. There are many evidence-based guidelines to prevent pressure ulcers, the first developed in 1992 by AHRQ. However, implementation of these guidelines is difficult because it requires support at multiple levels. For over six years Bay Regional Medical Center has had a multidisciplinary skin team that focuses on prevention and treatment of skin issues in the hospitalized patients. Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) has collaborated with Bay Regional Medical Center for many years to promote evidence-based practice (EBP).  Two years ago a faculty member from SVSU joined the multidisciplinary skin team at the hospital to help increase the awareness and implementation of EBP. Since that time, the team has completed several EBP projects including determining the protocol for skin assessment, the reliability of the Braden scale, preventing skin breakdown in the operating room, skin tear protocol, criteria for wound cultures, maggot therapy, albumin and nutritional related risk factors for skin breakdown, and use of photography for wound assessment. From these EBP projects, multiple changes have occurred in practice including the revision and development of new policies and procedures. The use of this multidisciplinary team has also resulted in other benefits including an increase in teamwork and collaboration, increased knowledge regarding EBP, and more current patient care practices. Since the inception of the multidisciplinary skin team the prevalence of hospital acquired pressure ulcers at the agency has decreased from over 10% to below 2%. In addition to the collaboration for the evidence-based practice, BSN nursing students from SVSU have been involved in several projects with the skin team including education, data collection for skin prevalence studies, and EBP reviews.