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Preventing Pressure Ulcers in the Home Health Setting

Pressure ulcers may develop in up to 38% of hospital patients, up to 24% of long term care residents, and as many as 17% of patients cared for by home health agencies. Of all patients in the acute care setting, nearly 50% are at high risk for developing pressure ulcers and 1% to 38% will develop an ulcer.

Pressure ulcers are a significant and costly healthcare concern:

  • They cause significant pain.
  • They cost between $10,000 and $40,000 per ulcer to treat.
  • They are viewed as an indicator of poor care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission. CMS requires reporting of adverse home healthcare outcomes, which include pressure ulcers, and will no longer reimburse hospitals for pressure ulcers developed during hospitalization. Similar quality care and payment initiatives are anticipated in the home health care setting.
  • They can be a basis for legal action against facilities, physicians, and nurses.

Most pressure ulcers can be prevented. Most early-stage pressure ulcers can be healed.

This course will cover:

  • Basic facts about pressure ulcers
  • How to prevent pressure ulcers
  • How to document pressure ulcer prevention and treatment

This will help you to improve patient health, comply with regulatory standards, and protect yourself from legal liability.

Courseware Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • List factors that increase a patient's risk for the development of pressure ulcers in the home healthcare setting.
  • Distinguish among pressure ulcers at different stages to assess a patient's condition in order to promote positive outcomes.
  • Recognize how to use a pressure ulcer risk assessment tool to assist in improving patient outcomes.
  • Identify pressure ulcer prevention and treatment strategies to improve patient outcomes.
  • List items that must be documented as evidence of appropriate pressure ulcer care to ensure compliance with current criteria and guidelines.