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National Prevalence and Incidence Study: 6-Year Sequential Acute Care Data

Whittington, Kathy T. MS, RN, CWCN; Briones, Robin BBA


OBJECTIVE To provide health care organizations with a benchmark to measure pressure ulcer prevalence and incidence.

SUBJECTS Medical, surgical, and intensive care unit patients at participating health care organizations.

DESIGN Pressure ulcer prevalence was measured during a predetermined 24-hour period at each participating health care organization, using a standardized data collection form. Incidence was measured over the average length of stay determined for each participating health care organization. Patient demographics, pressure ulcer stages, pressure ulcer locations, and contributing factors were collected during the study. Collected data forms were audited prior to being submitted to a central site for database entry, analysis, and report generation.

RESULTS Pressure ulcer prevalence ranged from a low of 14% (2001 and 2002) to a high of 17% (1999). Incidence ranged from a low of 7% (2001, 2003, 2004) to a high of 9% (2000). Comprehensive reports were delivered to the participating health care organizations, with each health care organization's data compiled to create a comparison database.

CONCLUSION A standardized methodology for prevalence and incidence study data collection/reporting has been developed and used in successive studies and years. This provides a tool to help health care organizations measure the effectiveness of interventions, improve patient outcomes on an ongoing basis, and begin trending analysis.

Following a standardized data collection form, this study measured pressure ulcer prevalence during a predetermined 24-hour period at each participating health care organization.

Kathy T. Whittington, MS, RN, CWCN, is Director, Clinical Development, and Robin Briones, BBA, is Outcomes Process Manager, for KCI USA, Inc, San Antonio, TX. The authors have disclosed that they are employees of KCI USA, Inc.

Submitted April 7, 2004; accepted in revised form August 12, 2004.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.