ROC the Future celebrates our employees’ best innovative ideas in action. Each ROC the Future project winner yielded important, measurable results for our health system, through innovation, cost savings, better patient outcomes or process quality improvement. This week, RRH is proud to honor the winning team at Unity Hospital.


Jennifer Herb and Linda Avery

Pressure injuries are a real concern for the acutely ill patient. At Unity Hospital, the Skin Care and Pressure Injury Prevention team improved the odds that patients would avoid them, and earned a ROC the Future award for their efforts.

In health care, pressure injuries are too often an unfortunate reality. For patients, a pressure injury means increased pain, and can lead to complications such as sepsis. A pressure injury can mean a longer hospital stay, a higher chance of having to be readmitted, and higher medical costs. In fact, treatment for a single pressure injury can cost thousands of dollars.

The Skin Care and Pressure Injury Prevention team implemented a variety of initiatives to reduce Unity’s rate of pressure injuries, although the hospital’s rates were already below the national average. This ROC the Future project exemplifies a principle that Dr. Eric Bieber, President and CEO, promotes: We should never settle for what is considered satisfactory or average. To improve Unity’s already low rate, the team put extensive initiatives into action, including:

  • A skin care education module
  • Weekly rounding
  • Engaging with the Skin Care Committee to partner on rounding and education
  • Implementing new or updated treatments, algorithms and decision trees
  • Testing of new treatment options

Their efforts lowered Unity’s rate to .98% (the national benchmark is 1.78%). This represented a decrease of 7% in Unity’s pressure injury rate for 2017, which can be equated to a substantial dollar amount in hospital resources and expenses saved. More importantly, these patients had a better hospital experience, one that didn’t involve the discomfort of a pressure injury. Plus, they were able to return to their homes more quickly.