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Implementing a new approach to pressure ulcer prevention

With pressure ulcers remaining a challenge to the healthcare system across all care settings, this 12-week pilot study aimed to evaluate implementation of the SEM Scanner as an adjunct to standard of care (SoC) in pressure ulcer (PU) prevention. Two district nursing bases enrolled 17 palliative care patients, who received SoC and preventive interventions. Patients with Waterlow scores 1019 who were able to be scanned for three consecutive days were included. Broken skin was not scanned, and visual skin checks were documented after SEM scans. Patients with SEM delta ≥0.6 were considered at high risk and preventive interventions were escalated using a clinical decision matrix aligning with SoC. The study found that implementing the SEM Scanner in an existing PU prevention pathway resulted in a reduction in community-acquired PU (CAPU) incidence by 26.7% from 16.1% to 11.8%; 88% (n=15) of patients remained PU free. Furthermore, clinical judgement informed by SEM deltas resulted in 82% (n=14/17) of nurses reporting that the SEM delta had changed their clinical decision-making.