A new wound guide written specifically for clinicians has just been released. The complete title is “Pocket Guide to Pressure Ulcers: How to Classify, Stage, and Document Pressure Ulcers and Other Common Wounds.”
Written by me and Elizabeth Ayello RN, PhD, and published by the New Jersey Hospital Association, the guide has been over two years in development. It is intended to help clinicians stage pressure ulcers and correctly identify other wounds common in clinical practice which pressure ulcers are often confused with. NJHA is a not-for-profit trade organization committed to quality, accessable, affordable health care in their state.
The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) has been on the forefront of advancing knowledge of pressure ulcers and their prevention. This organization has sponsored a successful collaborative effort to reduce pressure ulcers across the state of New Jersey. Launched in 2005, this initiative resulted in a 70% reduction in pressure ulcers for the 150 hospitals that participated. This effort has elevated knowledge of chronic wounds across the healthcare continuum from hospitals to home care to long-term care facilities. Key to NJHA’s philosophy on pressure ulcer prevention is interdisciplinary involvement and education.
Elizabeth Ayello RN, PhD, co-author of the guide, has been a key participant in NJHA’s pressure ulcer education program. An internationally renowned wound specialist and former chair of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), Dr. Ayello has written numerous articles and lectured on this important topic around the globe.
The guide is lavishly illustrated with diagrams and photographs, tables and mnemonics which are designed to demystify pressure ulcer staging and wound identification. Pages are laminated for durability. The book addresses key topics such as changes in aging skin, wound identification in darkly pigmented skin, and identification of infection. There is also a section on wound classification written specifically for clinicians in Medicare certified skilled nursing facilities who use the Minimum Data Set (MDS), a key component of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI).
Pressure ulcer rates are closely associated with quality of care, and have attracted increasing attention since they were placed on the CMS “no-pay” list. In addition, pressure ulcer staging has undergone recent changes spearheaded by the NPUAP, a think-tank of wound care experts based in Washington, DC. New additions to the staging classification include Unstageable Ulcers and suspected Deep Tissue Injury (DTI). These stages are covered in the pressure ulcer guide, along with explanatory notes and photographs.
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