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Modeling Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcer Prevalence on Medical-Surgical Units: Nurse Workload, Expertise, and Clinical Processes of Care

Keywords: Nursing;quality of care/patient safety (measurement);acute inpatient care;modeling

Objective: This study modeled the predictive power of unit/patient characteristics, nurse workload, nurse expertise, and hospital-acquired pressure ulcer (HAPU) preventive clinical processes of care on unit-level prevalence of HAPUs.

Data Sources: Seven hundred and eighty-nine medical-surgical units (215 hospitals) in 2009.

Study Design: Using unit-level data, HAPUs were modeled with Poisson regression with zero-inflation (due to low prevalence of HAPUs) with significant covariates as predictors.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods: Hospitals submitted data on NQF endorsed ongoing performance measures to CALNOC registry.

Principal Findings: Fewer HAPUs were predicted by a combination of unit/patient characteristics (shorter length of stay, fewer patients at-risk, fewer male patients), RN workload (more hours of care, greater patient [bed] turnover), RN expertise (more years of experience, fewer contract staff hours), and processes of care (more risk assessment completed).

Conclusions: Unit/patient characteristics were potent HAPU predictors yet generally are not modifiable. RN workload, nurse expertise, and processes of care (risk assessment/interventions) are significant predictors that can be addressed to reduce HAPU. Support strategies may be needed for units where experienced full-time nurses are not available for HAPU prevention. Further research is warranted to test these finding in the context of higher HAPU prevalence.

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