Background of Study
The clinical problem that led to this study involves the high prevalence of pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients. Initially, there were no definitive known ways to reduce pressure ulcers in hospitalized patients, and thus this study sought to fill in this knowledge gap. According to the author, the incidence rates of pressure ulcers are increasing hence the need to come up with ways of addressing the issue.
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According to the author, the significance of the study hinges on the view that pressure ulcers cause a lot of pain, which leads to misery. Additionally, this health condition is expensive to treat. The author also notes that pressure ulcers are common among the elderly, vulnerable, and weak individuals in society. This assertion underlines the importance of this topic to health care providers in different set-ups and especially in a hospital environment with admitted patients.
The study’s objective was to come up with ways of reducing pressure ulcers acquired during hospitalization in the intensive care unit. The author sought to use the plan, do, check, act (PDCA) cycle as a quality improvement process. Coming up with clear guidelines on how to reduce cases of pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients would improve care outcomes. Additionally, meeting this objective would cut the cost of accessing health care services for patients.
The author did not explicitly provide research questions. However, from the answers given, the questions would be:
- What are some of the ways that can be used to reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in intensive care units?
- What is the effectiveness of using the PDCA cycle to reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in intensive care units?
The purpose and research questions were directly related to the problem statement.
Method of Study
The qualitative methods used were appropriate to answer the research questions. For instance, the author conducted face-to-face interviews with different health care practitioners, and thus the relevant and appropriate information was gathered using qualitative methodology.
The author identified a specific perspective from which the study was developed. First, the nursing staff used the hospital patient safety net (PSN) to give monthly incidence reports regarding all pressure ulcer cases to establish the prevalence rate in the hospital used for the study. After establishing the incidence rate, the author collaborated with different health care practitioners to come up with a PDCA cycle plan as a way of reducing this health condition. Results were recorded monthly for a year.
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The author cited qualitative and quantitative studies that were relevant to the focus of the study. Other types of literature used in the study include health care agency reports on the topic, books, and online resources from reputable websites.
The references used were both current (published within five years) and old. The most current resource was an article published in 2010 in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. On the other hand, the oldest resource was an article published in 1993 in the British Journal of Nursing. The author used 31 sources to reference the study. However, the author did not indicate the weaknesses of the available studies.
The literature review included adequate information to build a logical argument. For instance, from the literature review, the author explored the depth of the problem of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Additionally, through the literature review, the author highlighted the high cost of treating this health condition among hospitalized patients. Statistics were also given to highlight the prevalence of the condition, and thus it suffices to conclude that the given literature review was enough for the formation of a logical argument. However, a framework was not developed from the study findings.
Results of Study
The study findings indicated that the PDCA cycle is an effective tool in reducing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients in intensive care units. In April 2013, one month after the implementation of the PDCA cycle strategy, the incidence rate in the hospital had reduced to four, and it further dropped to zero in May 2013. For the remaining months of 2013, the incidence rates were below two. The strategy was ultimately extended to the entire hospital, and similar results were observed.
The implications of these findings to nursing are immense. First, given that pressure ulcers cause a lot of pain and misery to patients, the findings imply that better patient outcomes will be experienced by using the said strategy. It means that patients will be saved from the risk of developing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, which normally adds complications to their health conditions. Second, the cost of treating this health condition is prohibitive. Therefore, coming up with a preventive mechanism implies that patients will not have to spend their resources on the treatment of the disease.
The findings contribute significantly to nursing science and knowledge. All areas of nursing will be affected, including practice, education, and administration. For instance, in practice, nurses will be in a position to use evidence-based strategies to prevent or reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients.
According to Cullen Gill (2015), ethical approval of the study was not necessary as data on pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients was collected monthly as part of the hospital’s key performance indicator (KPI). Therefore, it is not noted whether patient privacy was protected. Finally, there were no ethical considerations regarding the treatment because the strategy used entailed the improvement of care practices already in use.
The thesis statement is important and congruent with the findings of this study. It was established that implementing pressure ulcer protocol reduces the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers for hospitalized patients. This statement underscores the study findings and the thesis statement.
The study used for this critique is written well, and it meets most of the qualitative research requirements. The author used both quantitative and qualitative references to establish a logical argument concerning the relevance of the study questions to the nursing practice. The article has clear topics and subtopics to allow the reader to follow the flow of the information and understand the study problems and the findings together with conclusions.
The study findings give evidence-based information on how to prevent hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. This aspect highlights the utility of this information to nursing practice. Nurses can now use the PDCA cycle to prevent this health condition from occurring among hospitalized patients. The findings are applicable in nursing practice because they give a guideline that nurses can easily employ to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.
From the study, it is clear that the PDCA cycle is an effective way of reducing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients. As such, nurses should be educated and trained on how to employ such a strategy in their practice to ensure better patient outcomes and reduced cost of care.
Cullen Gill, E. (2015). Reducing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in intensive care. BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, 4(1), 1-5. Web.