Wound Assessment and Documentation

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Electronic Medical Record (EMR): A digital version of the paper charts in the clinician’s office. An EMR contains the medical and treatment history of each patient in the practice.

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Wound care professionals should review clinical workflow regularly to provide effective and efficient wound care. If changes occur in your organization or the field, this review may prove vital in the face of growing patient numbers and high staff turnover. Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical workflows can improve both cost-effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Because of this dual purpose, quantitative and qualitative assessments should be considered when evaluating clinical workflows.

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Introduction

Jobs in the field of medicine are notoriously demanding. However, many factors are converging to exacerbate this problem, and clinician burnout poses a large threat to the health care system in the United States.1 Unfortunately, this problem does not impact a single segment of specialists but is systemic at many health care facilities. Consider the following statistics:

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

Chronic wounds impact more than 8 million Americans in a multitude of ways ranging from affecting quality of life along to creating a significant economic burden, with the estimated cost of care in the United States currently at 30 billion dollars. As technology and medicine continue to advance, our aging population continues to grow, and those impacted by chronic wounds are likely to increase. This blog will take it back to the basics—using our senses to guide wound assessment and management—while incorporating technology/telemedicine and wound photography to guide treatment and track progress.

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Dianne Rudolph, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC, CWOCN, UTHSCSA

Dealing with patients who can’t or won’t participate in their care can be a challenge for health care providers across all settings. In wound care, this lack of participation can result in great financial costs, diminished quality of life, and suboptimal clinical outcomes. This is part 2 of a 2-part series on noncompliance in wound care patients. Part 1 addressed possible reasons for noncompliance. In part 2, strategies to address these issues and increase patient participation are discussed.
Part 1 of this blog discussed factors that impact a patient’s ability to adhere to clinician recommendations for care. Consequently, the most appropriate term to use when dealing with patients facing these obstacles is nonadherence. This term tends to be less value laden and more objective than noncompliance. Some of the reasons for nonadherence are voluntary and some are involuntary, or beyond the patient’s control. To review briefly, these reasons may include gaps in knowledge about the implications or severity of a chronic wound, limited recommendations or education by clinicians, perceived disadvantages to treatment, psychological factors, cultural factors, and social or financial constraints. Additionally, in some cases, alcohol or drug dependence can impact the patient’s ability to participate fully in their care.

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Wound management is a tremendous clinical challenge for many health care professionals. The World Health Organization has recognized that wound management is a worldwide public health issue best managed by an interprofessional team. This interdisciplinary approach has been shown to increase healing and decrease wound recurrence. However, it requires shared decision making with many clinicians to create an optimal care plan.

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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.

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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.