Nursing Team at Strong Memorial Hospital Receives Skin Safety Award

June 11, 2012

Strong Memorial Hospital’s Adult Critical Care Skin Care Team has received the inaugural 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety, awarded by 3M and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN).

The award was created to recognize exemplary clinical leadership and innovative programs that improve skin integrity in hospitals and health care systems. A panel of three judges selected by the WOCN Society evaluated submissions from across the Unites States and from other programs in foreign countries.

Strong Memorial’s program was cited for “outstanding achievements in pressure ulcer prevention and promotion of skin integrity.”

Cathy Van Houten, B.S.N., R.N., C.W.O.N., certified wound and ostomy nurse who oversees the Strong Memorial skin team program, accepted the award Sunday on behalf of the more than 50 nurses on the team at the 44th Annual Conference of the WOCN Society in Charlotte, N.C.

During the last 5 years the critical care units have seen as high as a 65 percent reduction in the development of unit-acquired pressure ulcers.

Strong Memorial has seven adult critical care units with a total of 93 adult beds. The critical care units all have active skin teams, comprised of six to 12 registered nurses, most being bedside nurses.

The purpose of the Critical Care Skin Team Program is to provide the adult intensive care bedside nurses with around-the-clock support, implementing evidence-based pressure ulcer and skin injury prevention interventions, wound assessments and application of topical treatments. Nurses receive additional education from the Critical Care WOC Nurse, and rotate the responsibility of weekly "skin rounds" on all patients, completing skin and risk assessments as well as wound assessments. Objectives include: decreasing pressure ulcer incidence, increasing timely compliance with pressure ulcer prevention bundles, accurate wound assessments, cost-effective use of advanced wound care products, and an increase in staff, patient and family satisfaction.

Team meets bimonthly to review pressure ulcer outcomes, individual unit reports on concerns, complex patients, successes and failures, reports on issues seen across the hospital and regional and hospital-based educational offerings, and to evaluate treatment products.

3M Health Care, a division of 3M, is a leader in medical, oral care, drug delivery, food safety and health information systems.

THE WOCN Society is a professional nursing society that supports its members by promoting educational, clinical, and research opportunities to advance the practice and guide the delivery of expert health care to individuals with wounds, ostomies, and incontinence.

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