Narayana Hrudayalaya Cardiac Hospital (NHCH) in Bangalore, India (now known as the Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences), is one of the world's largest and busiest cardiac hospitals. In early 2009, NHCH experienced a sharp increase in the number of surgical procedures performed and a corresponding rise in hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. The hospital sought to reduce pressure ulcer prevalence by implementing a portfolio of quality improvement
strategies. Baseline data showed that, over the five-month observation period, an average of 6% of all adult and pediatric surgical patients experienced a pressure ulcer while recovering in the NHCH intensive therapy unit (ITU). Phase 1 implementation efforts, which began in January 2010, focused on four areas: raising awareness, increasing education, improving documentation and communication, and implementing various preventive practices. Phase 2 implementation efforts, which began the following month, focused on changing operating room practices. The primary outcome measure was the weekly percentage of ITU patients with pressure ulcers. By July 2010, that percentage was reduced to zero; as of April 1, 2014, the hospital has maintained this result. Elements that contributed significantly to the program's success and sustainability include strong leadership, nurse and physician involvement, an emphasis on personal responsibility, improved documentation and communication, ongoing training and support, and a portfolio of low-tech changes to core workflows and behaviors. Many of these elements are applicable to U.S. acute care environments.