Pressure Injuries


Pressure injuries are an international patient safety risk and may cause the patient severe pain (some have likened it to sitting on a hot stove plate), increase the time they need to be in hospital and may cause them to have increased care needs when they return home.  In the year 2015 – 2016, 4,313 patients developed pressure injuries in public hospitals.  


At Epworth, we take pressure injuries, which develop in hospital, seriously and investigate each one to identify any learnings or opportunities for improvement that can enhance the care we provide.  These learnings are then shared across the organisation through our Group Pressure Injury Committee. This Committee’s role is to ensure that the care we provide is evidence based, best practice and consistent. 


At Epworth, we strive to help keep you safe from pressure injuries. We achieve this through a number of initiatives, including:

  • Risk assessment. Your nurse will assess your risk of developing a pressure injury at least daily
  • Skin integrity checks.  Your nurse will assess the condition of your skin at least daily
  • Risk Reduction conversations. Your nurse will talk to you about your risk of developing a pressure injury and discuss strategies to prevent you from developing one such as encouraging movement, use of pressure relieving devices and the importance of adequate nutrition
  • Hourly rounding.  In order to keep you safe, when your nurse rounds on you, they will encourage you to change positions
  • Preventative strategies. Your care team will discuss, and plan with you which strategies will may be helpful for you in reducing your risk of developing a pressure injury whilst in hospital and will refer you to allied health staff where appropriate​.

What does this mean? 

This means that since June 2014, the percentage of patients who have developed pressure injuries during their admission has been trending down.  We participate in external benchmarking with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) every 6 months.  Since 2014, Epworth’s rate of pressure injuries was better than the average rate reported to ACHS in 6 of the 8 reporting periods.

Between Jan and June 2018, Epworth has continued to see improvements and for every 1000 admissions, 1 – 2 patients sustained a pressure injury during their stay. 


Key initiatives implemented to reduce the risk of our patients sustaining a pressure injury:

Pressure Injury Bundles.  In 2017, Epworth HealthCare introduced the pressure injury bundles to the ICU. This project’s aim was to increase staff awareness and product accessibility to ensure prompt and appropriate management of our patients who were at risk of developing or had developed a pressure injury.


Back to Basics Project.  In 2018, Epworth introduced the Back to Basics Project – an intensive awareness and education campaign focusing on the SSKIN slogan as well as implementing the Pressure Injury Bundles throughout the organization. Overall, this project aimed to improve staff knowledge regarding risk assessment and management of patients at risk of or for any that had developed a pressure injury. 

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