OAK BROOK, Ill. and BATESVILLE, Ind., May 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diane Whitworth has been named the Nurse Safety Scholar-in-Residence by Joint Commission Resources (JCR) and Hill-Rom ( HRC). JCR is a not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission. Hill-Rom is a global medical technology company.
Whitworth is a certified wound, ostomy and continence nurse (CWOCN) with more than 30 years of clinical experience. She is currently responsible for the wound care team at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, a 391-bed acute care hospital and magnet designated facility in Richmond, Va.
Recognizing the important role that nurses play in translating evidence-based findings into excellent care at the patient's bedside, the Nurse Safety Scholar-in-Residence program, in its second year of a three-year project, focuses on developing tools and best practices to maintain skin integrity and to prevent pressure ulcers. An estimated 2.5 million patients are treated annually for pressure ulcers in acute care facilities in the United States, according to studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003 and 2006. A December 2008 report by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) states that in 2006 there were 503,000 hospital stays with pressure ulcers noted as a diagnosis, nearly an 80 percent increase since 1993. Lengths of stay, discharges to long term care settings, average patient age, and mortality were all higher in patients with pressure ulcers than in those without. Pressure ulcers are among the preventable conditions and events on Medicare's "no pay" list.