Successful Practices: Update on Pressure Ulcers

Posted on December 11, 2017

Successful Practices is a monthly column that highlights pertinent information, successful and/or evidence-based practices from the MHA Keystone Center and its member hospitals about how to reduce harm, improve quality and increase safety. 

As of Oct. 1, 2016, the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting have been revised to indicate that if a patient is admitted with a pressure ulcer at one stage and it progresses to a higher stage, two separate codes should be assigned: one code for the site and stage of the ulcer on admission and a second code for the same ulcer site and the highest stage reported during the stay.  Additionally, Deep Tissue Injuries (DTI) are now being considered unstageable pressure injuries.  

Nationally, Stage 3+ pressure injuries have increased and the GLPP HIIN recently identified that this ICD-10-CM coding update may be impacting a hospital's pressure injury rates. 

The GLPP HIIN asks that hospitals showing worsening rates review their data and ask the following questions:

  • How many of your stage 3+ pressure injuries were present on admission (of a lower stage) and advanced to a stage 3+ during their hospitalization?
  • How many of your stage 3+ pressure injuries developed during their hospitalization?
  • How many of your stage 3+ pressure injuries were coded as a Deep Tissue Injury (DTI)?
  • What are the primary locations of stage 3+ pressure injuries and how frequent is this location?

Answering these questions will help your organization better understand where your opportunities for improvement exist and what you may be able to do to reduce the number of pressure injuries.  

This article was featured in the new MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.


Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Successful Practices, pressure ulcers

Posted in: Patient Safety & Quality

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