Wisconsin Steps Up Pressure Ulcer Prevention

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Dec 04, 2008 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights

Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the formation of the Wisconsin Pressure Ulcer Coalition.  The Coalition was created to help reduce pressure ulcers in Wisconsins nursing homes and hospitals.

According to Department Secretary Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin and New Jersey are the only states taking these types of steps and Wisconsin is looking at the full spectrum of regulated health care facilities.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) hopes to reduce the number of residents who develop pressure ulcers to eight percent nationwide.  The goals of the newly formed coalition are to:

  1. Decrease the incidence of pressure ulcers in our health care settings
  2. Continue to educate caregivers and leaders about effective preventative measures
  3. Improve assessment when an individual is admitted to a health care facility, as well as continue to monitor appropriately
  4. Develop appropriate prevention strategies within 24 hours if individual identified to be at risk of developing pressure ulcer
  5. Improve communication between providers to provide a better continuity of care

Annually, 1 million patients are affected nationwide in both hospitals and nursing homes, costing an estimated $1.3 billion.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services tapped the Wisconsin Wound Care Initiative to train registered nurses in preventing and treating pressure ulcers.  This would more than double the number of wound care specialists in the state.  This mass training of nurses would be the first of its kind in the nation.

-Attorney Jeffrey Pitman

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