How CTCA Philadelphia lowered pressure ulcer rates to 1%

Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia has received the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety, which recognizes healthcare facilities that have a patient care program that resulted in sustained or improved skin integrity and maintenance.

In 2011, CTCA in Philadelphia had a pressure ulcer prevalence rate as high as 11 percent; so, in 2012, the hospital kicked off an effort to reduce those rates by increasing education and implementing new training measures.

The skin maintenance improvement project included the following:

  • Organizing a skin wound ostomy team, or SWOT, made up of nurses
  • Implementing a prevention program that includes the creation of a defined skin care regimen and new measures to control factors like pressure, friction, shear and moisture, as well as patient and family education and clinical training and protocols
  • Adopting "Wound Care Wednesdays" to keep a continued focus on skin-related efforts

These efforts proved very successful: In the six months after the first Wound Care Wednesday, the hospital reported no hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Also, the pressure ulcer incidence rate dropped to 1 percent in December 2013, down dramatically from 11 percent.

"Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia has implemented extraordinary steps to protect the skin health of its patients, and the results of those efforts are measurably clear," said Bill Cruise, vice president and general manager of 3M Critical & Chronic Care Solutions Division. "The hospital embodies what the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety is all about, and we couldn't be more pleased to recognize the facility for its dedication to protecting the skin health of its patients."

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