Relationship of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Certified Nurses and Healthcare-Acquired Conditions in Acute Care Hospitals

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to describe the (a) number and types of employed WOC certified nurses in acute care hospitals, (b) rates of hospital-acquired pressure injury (HAPI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), and (c) effectiveness of WOC certified nurses with respect to lowering HAPI and CAUTI occurrences.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of data from National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.

SUBJECTS AND SETTINGS:

The sample comprised 928 National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) hospitals that participated in the 2012 NDNQI RN Survey (source of specialty certification data) and collected HAPI, CAUTI, and nurse staffing data during the years 2012 to 2013.

METHODS:

We analyzed years 2012 to 2013 data from the NDNQI. Descriptive statistics summarized the number and types of employed WOC certified nurses, the rate of HAPI and CAUTI, and HAPI risk assessment and prevention intervention rates. Chi-square analyses were used to compare the characteristics of hospitals that do and do not employ WOC certified nurses. Analysis-of-covariance models were used to test the association between WOC certified nurses and HAPI and CAUTI occurrences.

RESULTS:

Just more than one-third of the study hospitals (36.6%) employed WOC certified nurses. Certified continence care nurses (CCCNs) were employed in fewest number. Hospitals employing wound care specialty certified nurses (CWOCN, CWCN, and CWON) had lower HAPI rates and better pressure injury risk assessment and prevention practices. Stage 3 and 4 HAPI occurrences among hospitals employing CWOCNs, CWCNs, and CWONs (0.27%) were nearly half the rate of hospitals not employing these nurses (0.51%). There were no significant relationships between nurses with specialty certification in continence care (CWOCN, CCCN) or ostomy care (CWOCN, COCN) and CAUTI rates.

CONCLUSIONS:

CWOCNs, CWCNs, and CWONs are an important factor in achieving better HAPI outcomes in acute care settings. The role of CWOCNs, CCCNs, and COCNs in CAUTI prevention warrants further investigation.

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