Trend: Providers use teams to fight pressure ulcers

With evidence mounting that the fight against pressure ulcers requires a group approach, providers are increasingly assembling teams to battle these debilitating wounds and avoid potentially fatal infections. Today, it's not uncommon for nursing homes to involve everyone from nurses to laundry workers, nutritionists, and maintenance workers in anti-pressure-sore efforts. Such group efforts can cut severe pressure sores acquired in-house by 69 percent, according to a study of a collaborative program involving 52 nursing homes that appeared in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

When working together, the nursing home teams identified problems that others might not have discovered--and each contribute their own part of the solution. For example, at the Lutheran Home in Fort Wayne, IN, laundry workers informed nurses that clothes were fitting too tightly against the skin. Meanwhile, kitchen staffers added protein powder to cookies to boost nutrition for residents, while creating buffets to encourage them to move. The beauty shop even began to reposition people who were getting their hair done. Other homes have built group efforts to find and work with patients at high risk for bedsores, created special plates to identify light eaters, and developed special programs to monitor patients that hold several accountable, from certified nursing assistants up.

To get more examples of how the homes win the bedsore fight:
- read this New York Times piece