Skin Wound Assessment Team Celebrates Success in Lowering Pressure Injuries

Nicole Walkowiak, MSN, RN, CRRN, CWOCN, CNL

Several years ago, the wound, ostomy and continence nurses (WOCNs) at RUSH University Medical Center created the Skin, Wound, Assessment and Treatment (SWAT) team, which consists of highly engaged bedside nurses who partner with WOCNs at the unit level to improve wound care and reduce hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs). Each inpatient unit has SWAT team members who receive specialty training by attending annual webinars, conducting quality improvement interventions in their unit and working closely with the WOCNs. Additionally, they participate in quarterly prevalence days, complete case reviews on HAPIs and educate their peers. Their role has been vital to RUSH’s success in reducing HAPIs at the medical center.

Nursing met the fiscal year 2022 HAPI goal of a rate of 0.59% with an end-of-year rate of 0.57%. To celebrate this success, Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENP, chief nursing officer, RUSH University Medical Center and RUSH University System for Health, and senior vice president of hospital operations, RUSH University Medical Center; Janet Stifter, PhD, RN, CPHQ, vice president of hospital operations – perioperative and interventional services​; and RUSH WOCNs hosted a July luncheon. During the lunch, SWAT team members received RUSH-branded SWAT team T-shirts and badge reels. Not only do these items serve as a thank you to this group, but they also help identify SWAT team members by increasing their visibility to their colleagues.

The WOCNs who lead the SWAT team are Lisa Boudreau, MSN, RN, CWOCN; Andrea Fidai, MSN, RN, CWON, CNL, CMRSRN; Laura Hernandez, MSN, BA, RN, CNL, CWON; and Nicole Walkowiak, MSN, RN, CRRN, CWOCN, CNL.