College of Nursing & USA Health Study Pressure Injury Prevention
Posted on March 4, 2022
A multidisciplinary team from the University of South Alabama College of Nursing and USA Health have collaborated to complete a successful study examining pressure injury prevention and management, creating a gap analysis instrument that can be used by healthcare professionals nationwide.
“This was a comprehensive study, and the results of this evidence-based research will allow our healthcare professionals to create an effective prevention plan to better serve patients,” said Dean of Nursing Dr. Heather Hall. “I applaud the Council of Key Stakeholder Team’s efforts, which will also bring more attention to the importance of decreasing pressure injuries.”
The research team led by Associate Professor Dr. Joyce Pittman received a research grant from Smith & Nephew, a company that designs and manufactures technology to help patients have a better quality of life. Smith & Nephew is dedicated to meeting the challenges of preventing and healing wounds and improving quality of care.
"The majority of pressure injuries are avoidable, so many healthcare organizations like USA Health prioritize efforts to decrease the occurrence of pressure injuries,” Pittman said. “USA Health identified pressure injuries as a patient safety issue it wanted to address.”
This study is unique in that the collaboration between college of nursing faculty experts and key clinical leaders identified current best evidence-based practices, developed an evidence-based gap analysis instrument, and measured the pressure injury practices at USA Health University Hospital," Pittman added. "This valid and reliable gap analysis instrument provides a scorecard of pressure injury practices within a healthcare facility.”
The nursing faculty provided mentorship and professional development training to the key stakeholder council. The greatest impact of this study is that healthcare organizations throughout the country will be able to use this gap analysis instrument to evaluate pressure injury practices.
“We wanted to identify and prioritize those gaps where we can make improvement efforts,” Pittman noted. “Pressure injuries cost an estimated $26.8 billion per year, increase the patient’s length of stay in the hospital and cause approximately 60,000 patients deaths each year. Pressure injuries can affect not only our elders but children who are pediatric patients. This is an important issue.”
Working with Pittman as co-investigators on this study were Assistant Professor of Adult Health Nursing Dr. Jo Ann Otts, and Associate Professor of Community/Mental Health Nursing Dr. Bettina Riley at South Alabama.
The study involved several phases, including development of the Council of Key Stakeholders of academic nursing faculty and clinicians; conducting an integrative literature review and appraisal; conducting Qualitative interviews; development of the gap analysis instrument; and conducting a gap analysis of pressure injury practices at University Hospital
Pittman will present the study at an international conference to be held in Scotland this summer.
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