American Hospital Association
Health Research & Educational Trust

Pressure Ulcers


Importance: Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) affect more than 2.5 million patients in the U.S. and results in significant patient harm; including pain, expensive treatments, increased length of stay and premature mortality.

While pressure ulcers are largely preventable, incidence rates continue to rise. The cost of treating a single pressure ulcer can be as high as $70,000, and the total cost for treatment in the U.S. is estimated at $11 billion annually (Reddy, Gill & Rochon, 2006. Risks for the development of pressure ulcers include advanced age, immobility, incontinence, inadequate nutrition and hydration, neuro-sensory deficiency, device-related skin pressure, multiple co-morbidities and circulatory abnormalities (IHI, 2011; Lyder & Ayello, 2008). Interventions to prevent or quickly treat pressure ulcers can reduce the costs of HAPU care and significantly improve quality of life for those affected.

Accomplishments: From 2015 to 2016, the AHA/HRET HEN 2.0 prevented an estimated 1,122 HAPUs with an estimated cost savings of over $19 million.

PfP Goal: Aim is to reduce hospital acquired pressure ulcers by 20 percent by September 27, 2018.

Download the Pressure Ulcer Change Package

Download the Pressure Ulcer Checklist

Watch Past Pressure Ulcer Events

Access Additional Pressure Ulcer Resources

Download the Pressure Ulcer Change Package Download the Pressure Ulcer Checklist Watch Past Pressure Ulcer Webinars
Access Additional Pressure Ulcer Resources