Study: Hospitals staffed with nurses certified in wound, ostomy and continence care see less pressure injuries

Patients at hospitals staffed by nurses who've earned specialty certification in wound, ostomy and continence care are less likely to experience pressure injuries, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing.

Pressure injuries, or bed sores, cost hospitals an estimated $9.1 to $11.6 billion annually to treat. Medicaid and Medicare do not offer additional reimbursement for patients who experience a pressure injury after inpatient admission.

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To better understand the impact of wound-care certified nurses on mitigating the occurrence of pressure injuries, researchers analyzed data on 928 hospitals compiled in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators Registered Nurse survey for 2012 and 2013. Approximately 37 percent of the hospitals were staffed by nurses with at least one of five wound-care certifications. Hospitals staffed by nurses with three types of wound-care certification displayed an overall hospital-acquired pressure injury rate of 2.81 percent. For hospitals staffed by nurses without wound-care certifications, the HAPI rate was 3.28 percent.

The study's authors concluded wound-care certified nurses should be included in hospital strategies to reduce the occurrence of pressure injuries.

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