• An Algorithm for Diaper Dermatitis Management in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

      Crampton, Laura K.; Fitzgerald, Jennifer (2021-05)
      Problem: Diaper dermatitis (DD) is inflammation of the skin in the perianal area that ranges from mild erythema to broken skin and bleeding. At baseline, 20% of infants ≥ 30 weeks gestation had DD in the target Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Historically, DD was managed based on individual nursing judgment due to a lack of current standardization of care for infants with DD and resulted in inconsistent care of infants with DD. Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of an algorithm for the prevention and treatment of DD in infants ≥ 30 weeks gestation in a Level IV NICU in an urban, academic medical center. Methods: Bedside nurses were given education on DD and the new algorithm for the management of DD. They also completed pre-and post-knowledge surveys. The algorithm was placed at the bedside of each infant for reference and the educational PowerPoint was emailed to all bedside nurses. Once a week, bedside nurses documented incidence of DD, if prophylactic or therapeutic treatment was performed, and if the algorithm was followed. Continued education was provided throughout implementation, reminder cards were placed on each nurse computer, and reminder texts to document DD data were sent out via unit phones each Monday. Results: The use of the algorithm and the use of prophylactic petroleum jelly increased from 0% at baseline to 100% over the 15-week data collection period. The prevalence of diaper dermatitis decreased from 20% (9/46) prior to implementation to 18% (2/11) on the last week of data collection. Following the education on DD and the implementation of the algorithm, the majority of nurses stated that they were more aware of DD and monitored for it more closely during diaper changes. Conclusions: The use of an algorithm for the management of diaper dermatitis helped to increase the use of prophylaxis and education on the algorithm increases bedside nurses’ awareness of DD in their patients on this unit.