Evidence-based decisions are of significance in the health care industry because they lead to an increased quality of patient care. Medical professionals should rely on scientific evidence to find the best solutions to possible issues. However, it is not always that health care practitioners implement research findings into practice even when they are aware of this information. It is so because numerous barriers prevent medical workers from implementing the results. This state of affairs influences many medical issues, and pressure ulcer prevention is among them. Thus, inadequate staffing, poor training, and shortage of resources are pressure ulcer prevention barriers, but specific measures can help overcome them.
Pressure injuries are a significant problem in the modern health care industry because people from various countries suffer from them. Etafa et al. (2018) explain that in the United States, “nearly 1 million people develop pressure ulcers annually” (p. 1). According to Saleh et al. (2019), pressure injury rates are also high in Denmark, Australia, and Switzerland. It denotes that specific measures are required to address the problem and reduce pressure ulcer incidence globally.
In modern medicine, there are many pressure injury management methods. Firstly, it refers to specific measures that aim to prevent this health condition from emerging. They include the use of “pressure-relieving mattresses, seating cushions, foam wedges, pillows, and bandages” (Latimer et al., 2016, p. 330). Secondly, improving nurses’ education is another useful phenomenon to address pressure ulcers. It is so because these medical professionals’ actions and decisions can lead to decreased rates of the health condition under analysis (Latimer et al., 2016). Finally, regular turning and repositioning are also useful to minimize the prevalence of pressure ulcers. Latimer et al. (2016) explain that this approach helps reduce excessive pressure on patients’ skin, protecting them from this phenomenon. Thus, various actions can be taken to address the problem.
It is not a surprise that the research findings above should be put into practice to improve the quality of health care, which is one of the primary desired outcomes. Thus, these measures should be taken to achieve specific results. The first objective includes the creation of conditions when fewer individuals are subject to pressure ulcer development. It means that care delivery should be affected to ensure that patients will not suffer from pressure injuries. The second target relates to those cases when a pressure ulcer has already emerged. In this case, it is necessary to find ways to eliminate a pressure ulcer as soon as possible.
Even though the information above demonstrates that various scholarly studies address the issue of pressure injuries, it is impossible to mention that their findings are implemented into practice. It is sad to say that a few medical professionals tend to neglect evidence-based guidelines, and a study by Saleh et al. (2019) addresses this situation. The researchers argue that 81.4% of their respondents are familiar with the advantages of specific mattresses, but only 6.7% always benefit from this prevention method (Saleh et al., 2019, p. 214). A similar situation is with turning and repositioning approaches to address pressure injuries. According to Saleh et al. (2019), only 13% of the respondents always subject patients to regular repositioning and turning (p. 214). These details demonstrate that there exists an essential gap between research findings and practice implementation.
One can suppose that this gap can exist because appropriate barriers prevent medical professionals from implementing the research findings. Etafa et al. (2018) analyze this question and assume that the three main barriers result in implementation issues. Even though this study considers an Ethiopian setting, its results can be applied to other nations. Firstly, appropriate preventive measures are not taken because inadequate staffing and workload are typical problems. Thus, an individual nurse has many responsibilities, and it is not a surprise that they miss some of the tasks. Secondly, the shortage of resources and equipment is another barrier that makes it challenging to provide patients with sufficient conditions (Etafa et al., 2018). For example, nurses may know the benefits of specific pressure ulcer prevention mattresses, but they cannot use this intervention because their hospital does not have these resources. Finally, nurses’ inadequate training can also result in the fact that they will not implement the research findings into practice (Etafa et al., 2018). It means that some medical professionals fail to have appropriate skills to improve patient outcomes.
According to the details mentioned above, it is reasonable to suggest that some steps to overcome the barriers are required. These measures should impact the whole health care industry, rather than separate establishments. On the one hand, it is necessary to increase spending to improve the quality of health care. It refers to the fact that pressure ulcer prevention by buying specific equipment is more cost-effective compared to the treatment of these cases (Etafa et al., 2018). On the other hand, significant efforts should be directed to provide health care establishments with a sufficient number of nurses and other medical professionals. It means that specific training and courses will be necessary to improve these individuals’ knowledge and skills.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Website
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is a medical organization that aims to make medicine safer and more productive by building the bridge between research and practice. The AHRQ website provides useful information on how to cope with this task in many medical spheres, including a pressure injury prevention issue. The site offers various resources to inform the transition from research into practice, and a study by Soban et al. (2017) is among them. These researchers admit that the current resources include staff education courses and policy changes. Soban et al. (2017) also stipulate that improving nurses’ leadership qualities is an effective way to combat pressure ulcers. This information indicates that the AHRQ website is a useful resource to explain how it is possible to obtain practical advantages from research findings.
Pressure ulcers are a severe issue since they represent health problems for many people. That is why many scholarly articles focus on this issue and offer numerous interventions to protect individuals from it. They include repositioning, the use of specific mattresses, improving nurses’ education and training, and others. Some of these measures are considered effective, but they do not generate advantages because they are not implemented into practice. A few barriers make it challenging to get benefits from these steps. It relates to understaffing, working overload, inadequate nurses’ competency, and the shortage of required resources. It is possible to overcome these issues by addressing health care policy. In conclusion, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) website proves that the implementation of the research findings into practice is possible with the help of policy changes and nursing courses and programs.
Etafa, W., Argaw, Z., Gemechu, E., & Melese, B. (2018). Nurses’ attitude and perceived barriers to pressure ulcer prevention. BMC Nursing, 17, 1-8.
Latimer, S., Chaboyer, W., & Gillespie, B. (2016). Pressure injury prevention strategies in acute medical inpatients: An observational study. Contemporary Nurse, 52(2-3), 326-340.
Saleh, M. Y. N., Papanikolaou, P., Nassar, O. S., Shahin, A., & Anthony, D. (2019). Nurses’ knowledge and practice of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment: An observational study. Journal of Tissue Viability, 28(4), 210-217.
Soban, L. M., Kim, L., Yuan, A. H., & Miltner, R. S. (2017). Organizational strategies to implement hospital pressure ulcer prevention programs: Findings from a national survey. Journal of Nursing Management, 25(6), 457-467.