Unit Based Skin Care Champion Program Practice Innovation

Liesel Miller, RN, BSN, CWON1, Barbara Yvonne Fankhanel, BSN, RN, CWOCN2, Kimberly Hanson, RN, BSN, CWON1, Eileen Martois, BSN, RN, CWOCN2, Gina Jansen, RN, BSN1, Jessica Field, RN, BSN3 and Penny Amornvut, RN, MSN, CCRN4, (1)Advance Practice Nursing - Wound Care, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, (2)Loma Linda University Medical Center, Advanced Practice Nursing, Loma Linda, CA, (3)Cardiothoracic ICU, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Lindad, CA, (4)Cardiac/ Cardiothoracic, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA
Unit Based Skin Care Champion Program Practice Innovation

 The effectiveness of a unit based Skin Care Champion program (SCCP) to promote professional nursing practice and decrease adverse outcomes such as hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) is evident in current literature.  Following the example of other large academic medical centers, an SCCP was implemented on three cardiothoracic/ cardiac inpatient units  for the purpose of reinforcing the significance of the role of the bedside RN as a skin care champion while partnering with the certified Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (WOC) nurses to achieve state and nationwide best practices.  The program’s objectives were to:

  1. Decrease in HAPIs and promote quality of care
  2. Increased staff education and innovation
  3. Move from culture to treatment to a culture of prevention

HAPIs decreased by half six months after SCCP implementation, including no reportable HAPIs (Stage 3, Stage 4, and Unstageable)  for another six consecutive months per California state regulations.

A survey of Skin Champions on all three units disclosed increased professional satisfaction, ability to assess pressure-related versus non pressure related wounds, ability to stage pressure ulcers, and significantly improved individual practice for pressure injury prevention (4.22, 4.44, 4.44, and 4.67 weighted averages respectively per question).

A survey of unit staff showed that 65% perceived improved patient outcomes after SCCP implementation, with 77% reporting an improvement in their own practice for pressure injury prevention.  66% and 68% respectively reported increased confidence in pressure injury recognition and staging. 

A unit based SCCP demonstrates effectiveness in decreasing HAPI rates, promoting nursing satisfaction and professional practice, while increasing confidence both among champions and bedside staff when assessing pressure injuries.  An estimated $10,500 was invested to train 12 champions over two weeks that resulting a potential $150,000* in cost savings over six months for HAPI prevention.