Wound Care in a Home Health Care Setting

April 15, 2016 Published by

Many people, including home health care patients, suffer from hard-to-heal or complex wounds which can result from surgery, circulation disorders or diabetic ulcers. People with disabilities or with chronic illnesses that keep them in bed or in a wheelchair may also experience wounds caused by pressure on a specific part of the body. All these conditions can impact their quality of life.  Dealing with complex wounds with a mindful eye on optimizing quality of life for our patients is one of our specialties at Blossom Ridge Home Health and Hospice.

Many home health care patients benefit from the interventions of skilled nursing staff and wound care clinician (WCC). In fact, more than one-third of all home-care admissions are wound related, and home wound care has become one of the fastest growing needs and skills in home-care services.

Delivering wound care in the home differs dramatically from delivering it in the hospital. Given the complexity of wound care and the multiple factors that affect healing, home wound care is a challenge. Some patients have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or wounds or open sores that don’t heal easily. In other cases, the patient or caregiver is unable to change dressings. This is where skilling nursing expertise and wound care management comes into the picture.

 

Home Health Care Patients have Special Needs

Like other patients across the continuum of care, home-care wound patients require accurate and thorough wound assessment, as well as documentation that provides information about wound status and aids development of a plan that supports healing.

The plan of care must address the whole patient, not just the wound or wounds.  Skilled nursing staff and wound care coordinators take into account individual wound-care requirements, assistance the patient may need due to physical or mental deficits, and nutritional support. Additional factors that affect wound-care strategies include wound characteristics, family support, and insurance guidelines and reimbursement.

 

Wound Care Means Working with a Health Care Team

Our skilled nursing staff specializes in wound care management in the home health care setting. This includes providing clinical expertise, working with other health care team members, and providing education.

  • Provides clinical expertise regarding wound and ostomy care to ensure delivery of the highest quality of care. This expertise helps reduce the need for readmissions to the emergency department (ED) for wound-related complications. The WCC also plays a vital role in product awareness, formu-lary development, and maintenance of cost-effective, evidence-based practice in the agency.
  • Works with other home health care team members,  serves as patient advocate, strengthening the relationship between patient and health care team members while promoting care coordination to help the patient achieve goals. Effective communication with the patient’s primary care pro­vider is essential to delivering the quality, research-based wound care.
  • Educates patients and family members about wound healing, dressing applications, and other interventions. Teaching families allows them to be involved in the patient’s care and start to take ownership of it. They also educates home health aides, who can play a vital role in preventing such problems as pressure ulcers and may be responsible for ensuring staff members.

 

Knowledge of Proper Wound Care is Essential in Home Health

Wound care knowledge and clinical expertise is essential for improving patient outcomes. Skilled nursing staff and wound care coordinators offer recommendations for care and supplies that are evidence based and reflect current best practices in wound care. These home health care workers play a vital role in managing the well being of a home health care patient.

 

Please contact us if you have questions about wound care and our skilled nursing staff.