It takes a renewed commitment by hospital and nursing home care staff to help patients avoid pressure ulcers and wounds. Recent case studies show that best practices must be used when a patient is admitted, and monitoring of ulcers and wounds must be done frequently to ensure a patient’s moisture levels, diet, and mobility concerns are addressed.
“Medical professionals must think proactively when the patient is at risk, not just after a serious ulcer or wound has occurred,” said Greg Grambor, president of Vascular PRNSM. “There are treatment protocols to help a patient prevent or address these concerns when they are clinically avoidable.”
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel suggests that monitoring, evaluating and revising patients’ diets, repositioning them, knowledge of their hemodynamics, and support surfaces are critical to keeping ulcers and wounds under control. A key part of the medical professional’s role is to document all the steps taken to care for the patient, communicate to the patient and his or her family, and involve them in the decision-making process. Case studies show that a minimum of 35 percent of lawsuits for nursing home or hospitals involves poor documentation that does not sit well with a jury.
“The skin is such an important organ that is sometimes forgotten,” said Grambor. “There are very efficient, affordable products out there for medical professionals to rent or buy to lessen a patient’s risk and decrease their own liability.”
For example, a Skin IQ™ is an electrically powered mattress coverlet that prevents skin breakdown and pressure ulcers as well as a LAL mattress. At $6 a day for the Skin IQ versus a LAL mattress at $30 a day, it also helps to minimize costs. For venous stasis leg ulcers that can be slow to heal, compression pump therapy products can stimulate venous blood flow and increase fibrinolytic activity.
“Everyone on the team needs to be well versed in wound and ulcer care,” said Grambor. “From a CNA to the dietician, and even new staff when turnover occurs, should be able to consult the patient’s file and the facility’s guidelines on preventing and lessening these issues.”
Best practices also include photographing a patient’s wounds or ulcers on admission, keeping accurate records of the patient’s care, and noting his or her compliance with the care given. Tracking how the issues are addressed in the patient file, along with precise staffing records and consistent use of best practices for care can dramatically decrease a facility’s liability.
“Medical professionals should be able to know their patient from head to toe,” said Grambor. “Vascular PRN is here to help you get access to the equipment you need to address ulcers and wounds proactively, and we can make a difference in your patient’s health overnight.”
Vascular PRN has decades of experience helping nursing homes, surgery centers and hospitals, managed care organizations, and other institutions with compression therapy pumps and the new Skin IQ. To learn more about a Sequential Compression Device, SCD boots, or the Skin IQ coverlet, visit http://www.vascularprn.com/ or call 800.886.4331.