Nutrition and Wounds: The View From Both Sides

July 14th, 2017

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

Nutrition is frequently conjoined to wound care lawsuits because patients often lose weight, so it is important to thoroughly document nutrition interventions and education.

 Nutrition and Wounds

 

Most pressure injury lawsuits begin as just that—a lawsuit initiated because of an acquired pressure injury. Usually the wound in question never healed to closure, became infected, led to an amputation, or otherwise caused the patient suffering. During the legal discovery process, all sorts of other care issues come to light, and the scope of the lawsuit grows. One of the most common additional issues is the patient’s nutritional status. Let’s look at it from both sides.

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Wound Care Minute: Wound Assessment Equipment

July 7th, 2017

What wound assessment equipment do you need? In this short video, WCEI co-founder Nancy Morgan discusses the key items you should gather before you begin.

 

To learn even more tips, view the 1-hour webinar “Wound Assessment” for FREE using the code WCMINUTE. Education credit is available.

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and onsite courses in  Skin, Wound, Diabetic and Ostomy Management. Clinicians who meet the eligibility requirements may sit for the prestigious WCC®, DWC® and OMS national board certification exams through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® (NAWCO®). For details see wcei.net.

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Top Tips for Best Wound Cleansing Practices

June 30th, 2017

Are your wound cleansing practices up-to-date? Find out with these top tips for cleaning wounds properly and choosing the right cleansers.

Top Tips for Best Wound Cleansing Practices

 

When you get clinicians together to talk about wounds, dressing choices are usually a popular topic. Wound cleansing? Not so much.

Cleaning a wound thoroughly – and frequently – is a crucial part of wound care. In fact, you should clean a wound every time you change a dressing – unless it’s contraindicated. Why is it so important? Cleaning a wound:

  • removes loose debris and planktonic (free-floating) bacteria.
  • provides protection to promote an optimal environment for healing.
  • facilitates wound assessment by optimizing visualization of the wound.

So, how do you know if your wound cleansing practices are up-to-date? It all comes down to choosing the appropriate cleansers and cleaning the wound using the correct wound cleaning technique.

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We’ve Always Done It This Way: Flagyl Crushing & Other Wound Care Bad Habits

June 23rd, 2017

Off-label drug use and questionable documentation are just two wound care bad habits that can get clinicians into trouble. Don’t just accept it because “We’ve Always Done It This Way” .

Wound Care Bad Habits

 

 

As clinicians, we use our knowledge, training and experience to find solutions and take care of patients in the best way possible. We learn about standards of care, scope of practice, and facility policies and procedures to guide our actions and care-giving.

There are several outdated common practices and treatments, however, that continue to surprise us. While there are plenty examples to talk about, let’s cover some of the issues most often brought to our attention.

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Pressure Injuries and Medical Device Dilemmas

June 16th, 2017

Medical device-related pressure injuries (MDRPIs) are a standard part of wound care, but preventative practices can make a big difference.

Medical Device-Related Pressure Injuries

 

One of the first things clinicians learn about treating pressure injuries is to find the cause of the pressure and simply remove it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But what do you do when the cause of the pressure injury is a medical device which is not only necessary, but literally sustaining a patient’s life?

While some medical device-related pressure injuries are unavoidable, there are things clinicians can do to relieve the pressure and heal the injury. Here’s what you need to know.

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Truth or Consequences: Admitting Your Wound Care Program Needs Improvement

June 9th, 2017

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

Some healthcare providers are working in underperforming facilities, and they need to discuss how to improve outcomes before it becomes a matter of legal record.

Truth or Consequences: Admitting Your Wound Care Program Needs Improvement

 

“I didn’t have any special training in wounds. No one else wanted to do it, so I said okay.”

“The weekends were really bad. We only had a few people working weekends.”

“I know some of the patients didn’t get turned all day.”

“We always were running out of supplies, so I improvised.”

All of these confessions, or truths, are from real life depositions of nurses who were working in facilities that patients were suing because they developed wounds. These nurses were not trying to hurt their facility in any way or stymie the defense team, but were simply telling the truth in their opinion.

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Wound Care Champions: A Nurse and a Five-Star Company

June 2nd, 2017

What does it take to build a five-star home health agency? Wound care education – and a credentialed staff – are a big part of it. 

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services

 

We know how wound care education helps transform the careers and lives of individuals. We also know that it can positively affect entire facilities, make a difference in communities, and drastically influence the lives of patients and professionals. That’s why we love to share success stories when we hear them.

Take, for example, Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC (DMHHSS), a five-star, nonprofit (and stand-alone) home health company in Philadelphia. It is known for excellent care, an exceptional staff, and wound care education advocacy. But it didn’t happen overnight. It did happen, however, with very specific goals in mind: to heal patients and treat them like family; forge relationships; and promote wound care education.

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Shingles: Treatment and Managing Pain

May 26th, 2017

Clinicians can help relieve patient pain and discomfort caused by shingles with these treatment options.

Shingles: Treatment and Managing Pain

 

Did you know that one in three people in the United States is affected by shingles? This common and very painful skin condition also happens to be made worse by stress – like hospitalization and other chronic illnesses. As clinicians, we are in the position to help reduce patient pain and discomfort as best we can. There is no cure, but there are a variety of treatments that can help.

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Wound Care and Epibole: It’s All About the Edge

May 18th, 2017

How do you spot an unhealthy wound edge? Learn more about the causes, prevention and treatment of epibole.

Wound Care and Epibole: It’s All About the Edge

 

When it comes to treating epibole, it’s all about knowing what a healthy wound edge looks like – and being able to spot signs of trouble. This basic overview includes epibole causes, prevention and treatment. We’ll have you ready to meet this condition head-on and get your patients on their way to recovery.

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Nine Wound Care Documentation Pitfalls to Avoid

May 12th, 2017

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

Lawsuits often are settled out of court because the medical record documentation is not defensible. Incomplete, illogical, and inconsistent records are far too common, so it is important to avoid the common pitfalls.

9 Wound Care Documentation Pitfalls to Avoid

 

After reviewing hundreds of medical charts involved in litigation, I noticed many of the same problems occurring in the wound care documentation over and over again. From New York to Florida to California, it is remarkable how the same inconsistencies, errors, and oversights tend to stymie the defense of a case. The goal of every healthcare practitioner is to have complete, accurate, and timely documentation of the medical care given to each and every patient. Here are nine wound care documentation pitfalls to avoid.

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