Decreasing Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Project

Brandon P Gates, Joy Vess, Mary Arnold Long, Emily Johnson
Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing 2019 May 17

PURPOSE: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to determine if use of an algorithm focusing on skin care in patients with fecal and urinary incontinence reduces the rate of hospital-acquired incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) over a period of 4 months.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: The QI setting was an 18-bed surgical intensive care unit (SICU) in an acute care urban hospital located in the southeastern United States. Two hundred eleven patients participated in this pre/postintervention QI project.

APPROACH: The algorithm for skin care used evidence-based bundled interventions for patients with fecal and urinary incontinence. The project comprised education of the SICU nursing staff in January 2018 and implementation of the algorithm from February 5, 2018, to June 5, 2018. Weekly chart reviews were conducted to determine algorithm compliance, documentation of fecal and urinary incontinence, and accuracy of IAD documentation. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the rate of hospital-acquired IAD, algorithm compliance, and average length of time from admission to the onset of hospital-acquired IAD.

OUTCOMES: Seventy-nine individuals with incontinence were included in the 3-month preintervention period and 132 individuals with incontinence in the 3-month postintervention period. We observed a 24% reduction in the rate of hospital-acquired IAD following implementation of the algorithm (29% vs 5%). The average length of time from admission to the onset of hospital-acquired IAD increased from 15 days in February 2018 to 25 days in May 2018.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Our experience with this QI project suggest that IAD can be identified and managed at the bedside by first clinical nursing staff without expertise in skin assessment and wound care.

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