3M and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) announce the Dermal Defense Team at Temple University Hospital has received the eighth annual 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety. Members of the Dermal Defense Team accepted the award at the WOCN Society’s annual education event, WOCNext, in Nashville on Sunday, June 23.
A 732-bed Magnet®-designated Philadelphia hospital, Temple University Hospital is one of the region's most respected academic medical centers as well as the chief clinical training site for the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. As a Level 1 trauma center, the Dermal Defense Team has changed the conversation from one where skin was one of the later priorities in patient care to staff thinking about skin as soon as someone is admitted.
“Your skin is your first line of protection, and we are charged to protect it. Caring for skin helps patients feel you care about them, and the small changes it takes to focus on skin don’t take much time, but they have a big impact,” said Meghan Dunleavy, BSN, RN, a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at Temple University Hospital. “Our team is focused on all aspects of the skin, with all therapies coming together to help decrease length of stay and injury and meet our skin care goals.”
Dermal Defense Team Expansion
Formally organized in 2014, the Dermal Defense Team expanded in 2016 when the hospital began the process of seeking Magnet® status. The team now includes over 58 skin champions – including patient care assistants (PCAs), registered nurses (RNs), representatives from all nursing units, and departments such as physical therapy – who meet monthly to discuss goals, results, and education on preventing pressure injuries and skin breakdown.
Bright yellow team T-shirts, proclaiming members’ duty “To Prevent, Protect and Save,” are worn during monthly data collection rounds and serve as a cornerstone of the team. The mantra was developed by the comprehensive team as a rallying cry and serves as a visual commitment to patient care.
“Our T-shirts are highly visible,” said Diane Wagner, MSN, BSN, RN, CWOCN, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Dermal Defense Team Program Chair at Temple University Hospital. “And, not only does visibility help reinforce support for skin care across all areas of the hospital, it also facilitates conversations with patients and families about caring for skin and helps those families feel comforted through our care.”
In early 2018, the team refocused on prevention protocols through comprehensive education, risk assessment, and other preventative efforts. At that time, the members set a goal of zero Stage 3 and 4 pressure injuries developed. That goal was quickly met in Quarter 3 of 2018, and the team has several additional metrics in place that it is working toward that are focused on improving skin outcomes:
- 100% compliance with using sacral and heel foam borders when appropriate
- Using fewer than four linen layers on beds
- Having more patients out of bed or positioned on their side rather than on their back
Championing and Recognizing Skin Safety
3M presents the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety annually in partnership with the WOCN Society. It recognizes individuals or health care teams that put skin at the center of care by successfully implementing a robust program in their facility with compelling results in improving patient skin integrity and health.
“Skin is a connection point in health care. It matters to patients and we believe that when everyone who impacts the patient experience — from providers delivering care to manufacturers developing products — takes the time to think deeper about skin and put it at the center of care, patient outcomes improve in multiple ways,” shared Todd Fruchterman, MD, PhD, President and General Manager for the 3M Medical Solutions Division. “The results the Dermal Defense Team achieved show that a dedicated, enthusiastic group can create a skin-focused culture that engages staff members, delivers clinical results and helps patients. They are a model for facilities on how skin should be approached and valued.”
Facilities across the nation applied for this recognition by illustrating positive clinical outcomes with best-in-class prevention protocols, teamwork, interdisciplinary participation, senior leadership engagement, and effective staff and patient education.
“We know there are many nurses dedicated to skin care and pressure injury prevention. This team stood out for its cross-functional and robust approach to education that went from new employee orientation to monthly meetings,” added WOCN President Kelly Jaszarowski, MSN, RN, CNS, ANP, CWOCN. “We look forward to receiving these award submissions each year, as there are many phenomenal programs delivering results. We are thrilled to honor the outstanding work at Temple University Hospital and continued innovation to make skin a facility-wide commitment.”
For more information about all of the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety winners and to learn more about how to enter next year’s competition, visit 3M.com/SkinAward.
To discover how thinking skin-first can make a positive impact on care, visit ThinkSkinDeeper.com.