Integration of pressure ulcer treatment protocol into practice: clinical outcomes and care environment attributes.

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Outcomes Manag Nurs Pract

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Outcomes Manag Nurs Pract

PubMed ID


Start Page


End Page



The purpose of this study was to determine if a research-based protocol for pressure ulcer treatment that had been successfully implemented in a long-term care facility was sustained over time. A secondary aim was to describe the attributes of the care environment that may have contributed to or impeded the maintenance of this protocol. A retrospective chart review was conducted of all patients who developed incident stage II, III, or IV pressure ulcers in the facility over a one-year period five years after initial implementation of a pressure ulcer treatment protocol. Data regarding ulcer characteristics and type, frequency, and duration of treatments were collected. Subjects were followed until the ulcer healed, the subject died or was discharged, or the 1-year study period ended. Care environment attributes, including patient care hours, turnover and stability rates, salaries, decision-making structures, and facility mission were obtained from the facility's Human Resource Department and existing databases in the Nursing Services Department. Outcomes of protocol implementation were defined as ulcer healing and costs associated with treatment. Costs were calculated from the provider perspective and included cost of supplies and labor consumed in providing direct pressure ulcer care. Of the 46 incident ulcers treated during the one-year study period, 40 (87%) healed and five (11%) were unhealed when the subject died. One ulcer remained unhealed at the end of the study. The total cost for treatment of these incident ulcers was $18,688, with nursing labor comprising 80% of the total expenditures. Adherence to the protocol, which contained predominantly inexpensive moist wound healing treatment options, resulted in complete healing of most pressure ulcers at a relatively low cost to the facility. The organizational environment of the facility, which maintains staffing levels and salaries at higher than national averages and promotes staff nurse accountability and decision making, may have provided the necessary climate to overcome barriers to clinical integration and sustain the desired care practices.

Published Article/Book Citation

Outcomes Manag Nurs Pract, 5:3 (2001) pp.112-20.

This document is currently not available here.