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Despite technologic and preventive advances in recent years, the incidence of pressure ulcers in acute care remains unacceptably high. Consequently, the authors' institution developed the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Protocol Interventions, a nursing initiative that involves assessing risk and nutritional status, providing skin care, documenting, and giving referrals as needed. After implementation, pressure ulcer prevalence was reduced by more than 50%. The rate has been maintained at well below the national benchmark for more than two years. This article discusses national incidence and prevalence rates of pressure ulcers, reviews the literature showing the high costs of ineffective prevention in hospitals and other settings, and presents the protocol so that other institutions might adopt its use.
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