Substandard wound care can lead to legal risk for clinicians

May 20th, 2019

professional negligence

Dedicated wound care professionals pride themselves on providing optimum care for their patients.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

Did you know you also have an ethical and legal obligation to provide the best care possible or you face legal risk?

You could be held liable whether you are an experienced or new wound care clinician, certified or not certified, or work in acute care, long-term care or the ambulatory environment.

Providing substandard wound care not only harms patients, it also can result in a patient or their family taking legal action against you and other clinicians involved in the patient’s care plan, said Nancy Brent, JD, MS, RN, a nurse attorney who represents nurses before the state regulatory agency and has a solo law practice in Wilmette, Ill.

And no one wants to face professional negligence or malpractice allegations.

“The legal fallout from litigation pertaining to patient care can range from being sued for medical malpractice or professional negligence, in addition to the fees related to legal representation and damages owed if you’re held legally responsible,” she said.

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Explore the benefits of Wound Care Education Institute alumni

May 13th, 2019

wound care

When wound care professionals decide on a school and course that leads to certification in a clinical specialty, it’s typically the result of a lot of thought.

Alumni of our Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) are no different.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

Most clinicians will tell you they weigh the cost of additional education and certification, against the benefits of undertaking such an endeavor.

Upon completion of a course and taking the certification exam, students of the WCEI have shown they are willing to make an investment in their education, said Diana Ramirez-Ripp, CWCMS, manager of live events for WCEI.

“Our alumni made a commitment not only to their careers — but also to their patients by furthering their knowledge in wound care,” she said.

Although no one can predict the future of a person’s professional path and achievements, the benefits of being an alumnus of the WCEI are many, Ramirez-Ripp said.

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Advances in wound care technology lead to bioprinting and more

May 9th, 2019

bioprinting

Printing human skin to heal large wounds might sound like something straight out of science fiction, but patients suffering from chronic wounds and pressure ulcers soon might have access to this treatment.

wound care

By Heather Cygan, BA

Scientists at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina have created the first mobile skin bioprinting system, which will allow bi-layered skin to be printed directly into a wound.

“The unique aspect of this technology is the mobility of the system and the ability to provide on-site management of extensive wounds by scanning and measuring them in order to deposit the cells directly where they are needed to create skin,” Sean Murphy, PhD, a WFIRM assistant professor, said in a news release.

Murphy was the lead author of a paper published earlier this year in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal.

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Where can clinicians find good wound care pictures?

May 7th, 2019

wound care pictures

When working as a wound care clinician, having access to relevant wound care pictures is an integral part of practice.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

Whether searching for photos for your own research, to identify a wound or to educate others in your organization, finding good wound photos can prove challenging.

One strategy wound care professionals can use for accessing wound care photos is to consider starting their own collection.

“Over the years I have built a library of pictures that I have received from my colleagues in the industry,” said Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, clinical instructor with the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) and owner of Infinitus LLC, a wound care instruction and consulting company in Santa Claus, Ind. “Over time, I will reuse and recycle the pictures as needed.”

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Unique journey to wound care leads nurse to rewarding career

May 2nd, 2019

wound care

Meet clinical instructor Ann Avery, RN, CWCN, LN, WCC

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

Many of us can clearly remember the best instructors we had during our education and training as clinicians.

These are the ones who inspire us to learn — with the ability to make learning fun and relevant at the same time.

And if we’re lucky, we’ll continue to encounter great teachers even when taking continuing education units and specialty certification courses during our professional life.

One instructor who embodies the traits of a dedicated educator and has a passion for teaching others is Ann Avery, RN, CWCN, LN, WCC, one of our clinical instructors on wound care.

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What happened to practicing wound care basics?

April 30th, 2019

wound care basics

Having been involved in wound care for about 25 years, I have seen many changes in our understanding of wound healing, research evidence and technology.

wound care

By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC

As I hear my students describe common practices today and the many myths of wound care, I’m led to wonder, “What happened to starting with wound care basics for healing?”

A colleague of mine once stated there are basically two fundamentals to healing wounds: a healthy patient and a healthy wound environment. Once those are accomplished, topical treatments will not make that big of a difference.

However, clinicians often cling to some “holy grail” treatment in the form of a dressing or adjunctive modality that will somehow overcome the need to practice solid, evidence-based wound care.

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How to pick the best wound care certification to fit your role

April 16th, 2019

wound care certification

If you’re working in wound care and seeking to earn wound care certification, kudos because your skills are in great demand.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

“The wound care industry in general lacks enough knowledgeable clinicians to handle the challenges of chronic wounds, as rarely is comprehensive wound care training included during college training of all disciplines, this includes MDs, NPs, PAs, RNs, PTs, OTs and LVNs,” said Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, one of our clinical wound care instructors.

The lack of standardized, pervasive wound care training for clinicians, sets the foundation for why clinicians working with wound patients on a routine basis, may want to get certified in wound care, said Richlen, who also owns Infinitus LLC, in Santa Claus, Ind., a wound care instruction and consulting company.

If you’re having difficulty trying to decide which wound care certification to start with, the info below may be just what you’re looking for to help you decide which certification route to go.

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Case illustrates importance of clear wound care delegation

April 12th, 2019

delegation

In the following case, the issue of delegation of wound care was the focus of the case.

wound care

By Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN

A female patient’s doctor ordered home healthcare services after her hospitalization for renal disorders and congestive heart failure. The patient employed a local home healthcare agency to provide skilled nursing care for the patient’s many health problems.

Six months later, the physician discovered his patient had developed four decubitus ulcers, including one on her right hip, which measured 5-1/2 centimeters in diameter and 7-1/2 centimeters deep.

The physician ordered the nurses to clean the wounds regularly and two months after the orders were being carried out, he delegated to the nurses to begin to pack the right hip wound with Betadine gauze.

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Home health nurse shares wound care certification journey

April 10th, 2019

wound care certification

What does it mean to be a leader in wound care? It’s about being a credible resource for care decisions based on the evidence, which wound care certification achieves.

By Keisha Smith, MA, CWCMS

It’s about focusing on what you can do, big or small, to make things better for your patients, team and organization.

Every day, thousands of our Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) alumni lead in this way with wound care certification.

If you participate in our alumni-only Facebook Group called “Wound Care Rocks,” you might recognize Trisha Dubois, RN, WCC, OMS, as a clinician who demonstrates those leadership qualities. She’s eager to learn from other certified clinicians in our group.

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Legal issues clinicians should know when taking wound care pictures

April 3rd, 2019

wound care pictures

Regardless of where a wound care professional practices, following the trajectory of a wound is essential to providing the best care.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

In addition to measuring wounds, part of today’s practice sometimes includes taking wound care pictures. The steps involved when photographing wounds depends on your organization’s written policies and procedures.

Some healthcare organizations provide computer-based applications and devices that wound care staff are required to use when taking wound care pictures. These photos are typically uploaded into each patient’s electronic medical record.

Other employers may not provide these tools, however. When this occurs, wound care clinicians may be tempted to use their personal cell phones to take wound photos to monitor the success of their care or share with other clinicians for advice.

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