Hospital Division Wound Nurses Go Hi-Tech

Monday, April 29th, 2013 @ 6:15PM

The Wound Nurses in Noland Hospitals were the first in the Division to take advantage of the benefits of an electronic medical record in the form of an Internet-based software program and point of care bedside documentation on their new iPads. An added benefit to acquiring the program was the installation of wireless networks in all hospitals. The program was implemented in the hospitals in August of 2011.

Since implementation of the program two years ago, acquired pressure ulcer rates have declined significantly. The Hospital Division has a goal to reduce or eliminate all avoidable acquired pressure ulcers. Part of the success in these improved outcomes can be contributed to the enhanced communication between the Wound Nurses and the staff. Detailed treatment plans, including pictures of each wound, are generated by the Wound Nurses in the documentation software on admission and weekly to guide the staff in daily care.

The majority of patients admitted to Noland Hospitals have some type of wound, whether it be a surgical wound, a vascular/diabetic wound, pressure ulcer or other. In the past two years, 5073 pressure ulcers were treated in patients admitted to a Noland Hospital.

Each hospital has a dedicated wound nurse specially trained to manage pressure ulcers and wounds. Manual documentation and reporting take valuable time away from the bedside. The new system provides point of care electronic documentation and wound care management via the Internet enabling the wound nurse to more quickly identify and intervene for patients at risk for skin breakdown. An electronic wound documentation system also affords the wound nurses the ability to more easily manage increasing workloads.

The system provides for enhanced communication between the wound nurse and the staff. It has the ability to communicate alerts to the wound nurse from charge nurses.

Reports formerly done manually are now run electronically. Real-time review of all patient records and flexible dashboard reports and graphs via the Internet provide timelier reporting with usable and accurate information.

This system helps identify and proactively manage at-risk patients for pressure ulcers. It trends wound data, such as staging, Braden scores, nosocomial (hospital acquired) wounds, wound size, and healing progression through automatically generated PUSH scores. Prior to the electronic system, healing rates were not calculated due to time-constraints of data entry into a measuring tool.

We look forward to continued success in providing quality patient care and in preventing hospital acquired pressure ulcers as we near a rate of zero.

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