Comparative effectiveness of quality improvement interventions for pressure ulcer prevention in academic medical centers in the United States

William V. Padula, Mary Beth F. Makic, Manish K. Mishra, Jonathan D. Campbell, Kavita V. Nair, Heidi L. Wald, Robert J. Valuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Prevention of pressure ulcers, one of the hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) targeted by the 2008 nonpayment policy of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is a critical issue. This study was conducted to determine the comparative effectiveness of quality improvement (QI) interventions associated with reduced hospital-acquired pressure ulcer (HAPU) rates. Methods: In an quasi-experimental design, interrupted time series analyses were conducted to determine the correlation between HAPU incidence rates and adoption of QI interventions. Among University HealthSystem Consortium hospitals, 55 academic medical centers were surveyed from September 2007 through February 2012 for adoption patterns of QI interventions for pressure ulcer prevention, and hospital-level data for 5,208 pressure ulcer cases were analyzed. Between- and within-hospital reduction significance was tested with t-tests post-CMS policy intervention. Results: Fifty-three (96%) of the 55 hospitals used QI interventions for pressure ulcer prevention. The effect size analysis identified five effective interventions that each reduced pressure ulcer rates by greater than 1 case per 1,000 patient discharges per quarter: leadership initiatives, visual tools, pressure ulcer staging, skin care, and patient nutrition. The greatest reductions in rates occurred earlier in the adoption process (p < .05). Conclusions: Five QI interventions had clinically meaningful associations with reduced stage III and IV HAPU incidence rates in 55 academic medical centers. These QI interventions can be used in support of an evidence-based prevention protocol for pressure ulcers. Hospitals can not only use these findings from this study as part of a QI bundle for preventing HAPUs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative effectiveness of quality improvement interventions for pressure ulcer prevention in academic medical centers in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this