DEPARTMENTS: PRACTICE POINTS
Pressure Ulcer Evidence-Based Treatment Pathway Integrated with Evidenced-Based Decisions
Thomas, Cathy Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN
Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, is Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Net Health Systems, Inc. Please address correspondence to: Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, via e-mail: [email protected].
It is unclear how many people in the United States have pressure ulcers (PrUs). The pathogenesis and assessment of PrUs is well documented.1-4 Creating and following a pathway provides guidance and work flow.
The pathway (Figure 1) should provide information regarding an initial assessment.1 Follow-up visits will be predicated on the department’s clinical and operational workflow, policies and procedures, and the necessary medical/clinical direction based on the patients and their wound presentation. As discussed in previous columns, an effective tool for managing outcomes is the clinical pathway. This column, with select references, focuses on the “Pressure Ulcer Pathway—Week 1.” Subsequent columns will review the pathways for weeks 4 and 10.
1. Hess CT. Clinical Guide: Skin and Wound Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012.
2. Whitney J, Phillips L, Aslam R, et al. Guidelines for the treatment of pressure ulcers. Wound Repair Regen 2006; 14: 663–79.
3. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Quick Reference Guide. Washington DC: National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel; 2009.
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4. Van Rijswijk L. Full-thickness pressure ulcers: patient and wound healing characteristics. Decubitus 1993; 6 (1): 16–21.