Pressure Ulcers

Each year, more than 2.5 million people in the United States develop pressure ulcers. These skin lesions bring pain, disfigurement, and increased infection risk. Pressure ulcers are associated with longer hospital stays and increased morbidity and mortality. They also remain a serious problem in nursing homes despite regulatory and market approaches to encourage prevention and treatment.

AHRQ's efforts to reduce and treat pressure ulcers in various healthcare settings are reflected in the following tools, research, and resources.

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Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals Toolkit
This toolkit assists hospital staff in implementing effective pressure ulcer prevention practices through an interdisciplinary approach to care.

Pressure Injury Prevention in Hospitals Training Program
AHRQ developed this program to support the training of hospital staff on how to implement AHRQ's Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals Toolkit. The content of the training program and supporting materials help hospitals become familiar with each of the components of the toolkit and learn how to overcome the challenges associated with developing, implementing, and sustaining a pressure injury prevention program.

On-Time Pressure Ulcer Prevention
This toolkit helps nursing homes with electronic medical records reduce the occurrence of in-house pressure ulcers through the use of various reports that identify and track residents at risk.

On-Time Pressure Ulcer Healing
This toolkit helps nursing homes with electronic medical records effectively monitor and manage pressure ulcers that are slow to heal. Clinical reports provide information about the number and types of pressure ulcers that residents have developed.


AHRQ Research Findings Support Effort to Reduce Pressure Ulcers in Virginia
The results of an AHRQ-funded study on pressure ulcer prevention and treatment have been used to train staff at seven sites to help frail older adults in Virginia remain at home instead of entering a nursing facility.

AHRQ's Patient Safety Network features pressure ulcer-related studies ranging from use of wound care teams for prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers to organizational strategies to implement hospital pressure ulcer prevention programs.