Healthcare providers have guidelines for assessing patients who may be at risk of developing bedsores – also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. Assessments are a powerful tool toward prevention. These are most commonly done by completing an assessment using the Braden scale.
The Braden scale is a tool used to evaluate patients on seven factors that can impact bedsore development. These factors include:
- Sensory perception
Using the Braden scale, healthcare providers can assess the patient’s likelihood of developing a decubitus ulcer. The score ranges from 4 to 23. The lower the score is, the higher the risk of developing an ulcer. Overall, patients who score 17 or less are considered “at risk” for developing a decubitus ulcer.
Managing At Risk Patients
Patients who are identified as at-risk should be carefully monitored, and prevention strategies should be used to protect their skin and health. Experts in the medical field believe identifying at-risk patients – essentially predicting which patients may develop a decubitus ulcer – is one of the best ways to prevent them.
By identifying patients who are at-risk, healthcare providers can initiate prevention strategies that are best for that patient. Researchers are increasingly supporting the use of HER data and machine learning tools to help identify patients who are at risk and determine the best course of action for that patient.
While the Braden scale is a useful tool, on its own it does not offer recommendations or individualized treatment based on the score alone.