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Audit shows residential care readiness for pressure injuries

The Ministry of Health is encouraged by the steps aged residential care providers are taking to prevent and minimise pressure injuries among residents.

A new Ministry report, Pressure Injuries in Aged Residential Care looks at the results of an audit of 528 aged residential care providers throughout New Zealand between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2017.

According to the report, 96 percent of all providers audited have a policy and/or guidelines in place to support pressure injury prevention and management, while other providers are in the process of drafting, reviewing or updating their policy.

“Pressure injuries can affect people of all ages, and can lead to pain, loss of function, reduced mobility and distress. But the good news is pressure injuries are preventable, with the right knowledge and care,” says the Ministry’s Quality Assurance and Safety Group Manager Emma Prestidge.

“Pressure injuries aren’t confined to residents of aged-care providers but because people with decreased mobility and sensation are at increased risk, early identification and intervention is important.”

“That’s why it’s crucial providers have a prevention management plan in place for pressure injuries, have adverse event reporting in place, availability of equipment to treat pressure injuries, and staff training,” says Emma Prestidge.

“Pressure injuries can be prevented but they can also be managed well and the Ministry is working with ACC and the Health Quality and Safety Commission to develop tools to help.”

“We want to see all aged residential care providers working towards the prevention and management of pressure injuries, and ultimately improve patients’ lives.”

“Providers are always looking at the best way to minimise and prevent pressure injuries, encouraging better nutrition and movement for residents, providing a supportive and pain-relieving surface for patients to rest on, and providing regular checking by staff.”

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