The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has defined pressure ulcers (PUs) an important patient safety indicator (#3). Despite the existence of evidence-based guidelines for PU prevention and treatment from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the sustained success in reducing the development of PUs is elusive in many acute care hospitals.
The specific aim of the study was to determine whether the implementation of an early standardized process for mobility could reduce or eliminate the development of PUs in a surgical intensive care unit.
Patient data were collected pre- and postimplementation of the early mobility protocol.
The mobility compliance for patients postimplementation was 71.30% (SD = 12.73), with a range of 25% to 100%. A χ2 test for independence (with Yates continuity correction) indicated a significant association between unit-acquired PUs and the pre- and postimplementation mobility groups (χ21,1051 = 6.86, P = .009). Specifically, patients in the intervention group had significantly more unit-acquired PUs than the control group. No significant differences were identified between the 2 groups.
Despite implementation of the early mobility protocol, we did not see an improvement in the PU rate overall or with time as protocol compliance improved.