Madison (WKOW) -- from WI Dept. of Health Services: The Department of Health Services announced Monday that health care leaders from across the state have formed the Wisconsin Pressure Ulcer Coalition to help reduce pressure ulcers in Wisconsin's health care industry, including nursing homes and hospitals.
A pressure ulcer, also known as a bedsore, is a painful condition that can occur in individuals who are unable to move without assistance.
"Wisconsin continues to be an innovative leader in finding ways to help improve the quality of care of our loved ones," said 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. These types of partnerships and collaborations are what we need to help us move forward and it's what our citizens deserve."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set a goal to reduce the number of residents nationwide that develop pressure ulcers to eight percent.
Wisconsin has performed consistently better than the federal goal with an average holding steady at approximately seven percent of nursing homes residents affected by pressure ulcers.
CMS currently does not have figures for other types of health care settings.
The goals of the Wisconsin Pressure Ulcer Coalition are to:
MetaStar is the Quality Improvement Organization for Wisconsin's health care facilities.
According to Jennifer Harrison, Nursing Home Project Lead, "pressure ulcers are not just a concern for one health care setting, but an issue for all of those represented on the Coalition. This Coalition is intended to address pressure ulcer prevention across the entire continuum of care by bringing all of these players together to help facilitate communication and problem solving at many levels."
According to CMS, pressure ulcers affect more than 1 million patients annually across the nation in both hospitals and nursing homes.
The costs associated with caring for pressure ulcers exceed $1.3 billion.
Stakeholders who are currently part of the Wisconsin Pressure Coalition are:
In June, the Department announced the Wisconsin Wound Care Initiative would train registered nurses from across the state to become certified in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers.
The public-private collaboration more than doubles the wound care specialists in the state.
The 224 new wound care specialists were certified through a week-long course this fall.
This collaborative effort in mass training of staff is the first of its kind in the nation.
The model is novel and unique, signifying Wisconsin's commitment in continually searching for ways to improve quality of care.