Background & Goal
Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, are painful and potentially life-threatening injuries that can develop when people rest on one part of the body for too long. As of October 2008, Medicare no longer pays hospitals to treat bedsores and several other preventable problems that develop after hospitalization. Some private insurers are following Medicare’s lead. Annual treatment costs nationwide are estimated at up to $1.5 billion, with some studies showing the incidence of heel ulcers alone reaching more than 50% of surgical patients.
The Perioperative Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program (PPUPP) aims to drastically reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers in surgical patients through aggressive prevention methods.
Perioperative Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program (PPUPP) is a program that covers staff education and awareness, assessment of environment and patient population served, skin and risk assessment, universal pressure precautions, equipment selection, positioning competencies, nurse specialty collaboration, quality improvement, and tracking of complications, care plans based on research. It supplements traditional methods to prevent pressure ulcer development (such as turning and repositioning) to incorporate new surfaces, padding, heel offloading devices, head cradles, and ulnar pads. It uses “Scott Triggers” – a set of evidence-based factors (named for nurse/ program founder Suzy Scott-Williams) identified as predictors of highest risk for pressure ulcer development in the study (e.g., age 62 or older, Albumin level below 3.5 and ASA score 3 or greater).