Wound Assessment and Documentation

Holly Hovan's picture

By Holly Hovan, MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s health care system. Often associated with discomfort and pain, MASD ultimately negatively impacts quality of life. MASD is usually broken down into 3 or 4 categories, most commonly incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD), intertriginous dermatitis, periwound dermatitis, and peristomal dermatitis. In this blog, I focus on the prevention and treatment of IAD and subsequent pressure injuries in critical care through a nurse-led approach.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Patients with wounds are cared for according to the scope and standards of practice, which are used to guide nurses and other members of the interprofessional wound care team. An intricate network of physicians, medical researchers, government regulators, and medical journal contributors helps develop the standard of care. Standards are not enacted like laws; rather, they arise naturally as a result of research investigations, existing physician practices, and technological advancements. Standard of care in the health care profession is sensitive to time, place, and person. The wound care standard must be carried out in accordance with accepted wound treatment standards that are evidence based.

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Wound documentation is critical for the delivery of effective wound care, the facilitation of care continuity, and proper health data coding. Inaccurate wound documentation can impact the ability to determine the best wound treatment options and the overall wound healing process. Unfortunately, almost half of all medical record notes on wounds lack key details on assessment and intervention in some settings.

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By WoundSource Editors

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are open sores or wounds caused by a combination of factors that include neuropathy (lack of sensation), poor circulation, foot deformities, friction or pressure, trauma, and duration of diabetes with complication risks. DFUs occur in 34% of people with diabetes, and approximately 14% to 24 % of patients with diabetes who develop a DFU will require an amputation.

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By Holly Hovan, MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

Pressure injuries (PIs) typically are the result of unrelieved pressure, shear, or force. In an inpatient or hospital setting, interventions are put into place to prevent pressure injuries based on evidence and patient risk. However, PIs still develop in some patients despite interventions. Experts agree that most PIs are in fact avoidable; however, some patients may experience unavoidable skin breakdown at end of life (EoL).¹ Kennedy terminal ulcers (KTUs), skin changes at life’s end (SCALE), and Trombley-Brennan terminal tissue injuries (TB-TTIs) are some of the common terms used to describe unavoidable skin changes at EoL.¹

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By Becky Naughton, RN, MSN, FNP-C, WCC

I’m sure we’ve all hit that point in our wound care careers where we’ve had that one patient who’s wound just doesn’t seem to respond to any treatment. You’ve tried everything that you can think of—state-of-the-art dressings, advanced cellular products, regular debridement, and even hyperbaric oxygen. But despite all of this, the wound seems stuck. This is what’s known as a recalcitrant wound, a wound that fails to progress through the phases of wound healing in a typical timeline and becomes “stuck.” A wound that does not decrease in size by 30% in 3 weeks or by 50% in 4 to 5 weeks is considered recalcitrant. This is significant because wounds that don’t show improvement in size by 50% in 4 weeks have a 91% chance of not healing in 12 weeks.

Kari K. Harman's picture

By Kari K. Harman, RN-C, CCM, CWCA, WCN-C, CSWD-C, ACCWS, DAPWCA

For patients discharged from the acute care setting, the road home can be laden with potholes and speed bumps. For many patients, the fear of the unknown after being newly diagnosed with a wound or the exacerbation of a health condition can be overwhelming. Caregivers are likely to have the same feelings as patients. This blog will navigate through some avoidable roadblocks and barriers to ensure a smooth ride home. By establishing manageable expectations and partnering with home health agencies that have proficient wound care programs, the patient and caregiver can genuinely be on the road to recovery.

Holly Hovan's picture

Holly Hovan MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

Pain has been a prevalent health care challenge in the United States for some time, with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that approximately 16% of men and 20% of women experience pain on most days or even every day.

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Chronic wound care is challenging for the entire healthcare ecosystem, from clinicians to patients, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated those challenges. Patients are delaying primary care provider and wound clinician visits for ongoing guidance and therapy to reduce possible exposure to the virus. This is understandable, as many chronic wound patients are in the high-risk category if they become ill with COVID-19.1 They are also putting off elective surgeries, annual physicals, and basic preventive care, which can negatively affect long-term outcomes.

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By Holly Hovan MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

Lower extremity wounds manifest in a multitude of ways, with numerous causative or trigger factors. These types of wounds are often costly to treat, are frequently refractory, and have a high risk for recurrence. A comprehensive assessment and an evidence-based treatment plan, along with ongoing patient education and routine follow-up, are essential components of an effective plan of care.