By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS
Documenting wounds is always problematic for staff. It is important that wounds be assessed consistently both for measurement and characteristics. The use of pictures is also controversial. Pictures can help or hurt you if you are sued. However, consistent documentation of the wound, treatment and care planning that accompanies a picture would be useful.
While most of us go to the app store and download things we like, developing any app is actually time consuming. In working on our wound app we had many face-to-face meetings, calls, and trials of prototypes. Developers think differently than nurses so communicating what we wanted was interesting at best, and frustrating for our developer. However, we persevered and have the basic app model completed and will be adding the care planning piece soon.
An app used in practice has to be HIPPA compliant so thinking about how to do this as well as how to allow integration into electronic medical records has been problematic. There are multiple companies that produce electronic records and an app has to integrate with all of them. Currently our app prints to a pdf that can go into the record. It will also graph healing.
Soon you will be able to try our app and give us feedback. If you like it we can license it to your facility for use and this version will be encrypted. Go to http://www.mobilehealthware.com/ and take a look. If you want to try the app and help us test it, fill out and submit the form. When we are ready to have you download it, we will send you instructions on how and where to do it. If you don’t want to try the app or don’t have an Apple product, look at the website and give me feedback on how it looks. Imagine simple ways to document and plan care at the bedside, transmit that information to patient records and to teammates for care provision. Technology is always changing and we are ready to change with it.
About The Author
Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS is an Associate Professor with Montana State University-Bozeman, teaches an online wound course for Excelsior College, and is a consultant for Mountain Pacific Quality Improvement Organization. She has served as a Research Consultant with Billings Clinic Center on Aging, and was the Associate Director for Yale University’s Program for the Advancement of Chronic Wound Care.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.