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Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) Leads Pressure Ulcer Care Initiative

MALVERN, Pa., March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AAWC Wound Care Specialty Council's (WocSpec) Guidelines Department (GD) announced presentation of summary content validation results for its "Guideline of Pressure Ulcer Guidelines" at the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel's (NPUAP) 11th Biennial Conference, February 27-28, 2009, Arlington, VA.

Pressure ulcers (PU) place huge burdens on patients, caregivers and healthcare systems. According to the Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project conducted by the US Division of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in 2006, each PU costs an average of $37,800 per hospital stay in the US. Professionals and institutions are held accountable for PU development and management, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers refuse payment for those that could have been prevented, counting them as "Never Events" in US hospitals.

Consistent evidence-based care improves PU prevention and treatment outcomes, but in a report published in Ostomy/Wound Management, November 2008, the GD found that PU guideline differences in definitions, procedures content, focus, evidence criteria and validation confuse wound care professionals, reducing consistency of care. To remedy this situation, members of the GD compiled all recommendations from PU guidelines on the AHRQ's National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) as of July 2008, as well as guideline drafts from the NPUAP and European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panels and the Wound Healing Society's PU Guideline. All ~1700 members of AAWC, the world's largest global multidisciplinary wound care organization, plus ~40,000 readers of Ostomy/Wound Management were invited to engage in content validation of this global Pressure Ulcer Care Initiative (PUCI) by standardized clinical relevance rating of the 380 recommendations of PU diagnosis, prevention and treatment compiled.

The GD team is currently improving item wording based on PUCI content validation responses. All 380 recommendations with the content validity index of each will be placed on the AAWC website by April 2009. After the GD assembles the best available evidence supporting each recommendation, rated according to standardized evidence criteria adapted from earlier AHRQ initiatives, all recommendations with the highest level of evidence and/or with a content validity index of at least 0.75 will be submitted as a unified comprehensive PU guideline to the AHRQ NGC and published on the AAWC website.

SOURCE Association for the Advancement of Wound Care
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