Nursing

Tool of the month: Minimize pressure ulcers by preventing friction and shear

Nurse Leader Insider, March 2, 2009

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Our new feature highlights one free downloadable tool each month. Click over to our Web site, download the tool, customize it, and use it today!

Pressure ulcers are among the most prevalent hospital-associated infections, making them a top concern for The Joint Commission (previously JCAHO) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Stage III and Stage IV pressure ulcers also fall on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' list of conditions that, if developed by a patient while in the hospital, will affect hospital reimbursement. Thus, hospitals must implement effective prevention strategies.

Friction usually, but not always, accompanies shear. Friction is the force of rubbing two surfaces against one another, and shear is the result of gravity pushing down on a patient's body and the resistance between the patient and the chair or bed. When combined with gravity/force (pressure), friction causes shear, and the outcome can be more devastating than pressure alone.

This month's tool, which is evidence-based, highlights many of the common practices observed in healthcare facilities that contribute to friction and shear, and alternatives for pressure ulcer prevention.

And don't forget to check out a growing list of evidence-based tools and articles in the
Evidence-Based Resource Center on www.StrategiesforNurseManagers.com.



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