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How to choose a digital camera for wound documentation

By Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

Digital cameras have many helpful features, but the most important considerations for choosing a camera are hardware features. Focus on the following when choosing a camera:

Resolution. The resolution determines picture quality. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel recommends using a digital camera with a minimum of 3 megapixels
for wound photography. A megapixel is 1 million pixels. The more pixels used to produce a photo, the less grainy it will appear and the clearer any enlargements made from it will be. In essence, the more megapixels a camera produces, the clearer and more detailed the photograph will be. (more…)

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Smart bandage uses nanosensors to track how a wound is healing

smart bandage

Bandages are intended to keep a dressing secure and clean in order to reduce healing time and infection rate. However, they may be about to get a new use-case, courtesy of a project from the United Kingdom’s Swansea University Institute of Life Science.

What researchers there have been working on is a new smart bandage capable of tracking how a wound is healing and sending that data back to doctors, via 5G technology. To do this it would employ tiny “nanosensors” able to fit comfortably within the fabric of regular bandages. (more…)

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Imaging technology to aid wound care

Imaging technology to aid wound care

Nash UNC Health Care is continuing its effort to bring cutting-edge technology to the hospital.

Through a recent partnership with a Maryland-based medical imaging and data analytics company called Tissue Analytics, which is dedicated to revolutionizing wound care, Nash UNC Health Care has adopted new state-of-the-art wound imaging technology to its outpatient Wound Care Center. (more…)

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Welcome to WoundCareAdvisor.com

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Caring for Wounds eBook Series: Pressure Injuries

Wound Care Advisor eBooks are interactive digital tools full of insightful content, white papers and tutorials on trending topics that are assembled from the editorial staff along with supportive content provided by our marketing partners.

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Convatec Skin Tears Webinar

Educate yourself on various products, valuable healthcare information, or continuing your education by exploring the archive of nursing Webinars.

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nurse beating heart american nurses association

Accurate and considered wound assessment is essential to fulfill professional nursing requirements and ensure appropriate patient and wound management.

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Wound Photography – How it Benefits Clinical Documentation

wound photography

Accurate assessment and documentation of wounds is essential for developing a comprehensive plan of care. Photography now plays a key role in wound care. The use of digital photography has enhanced the reliability and accuracy of wound documentation. Though a wound assessment in patient files includes details such as location, depth, odor, condition of surrounding tissue and other details, a visual record can be worth even more.

Digital photography is becoming a more prevalent documentation tool. According to an article published in McKnight’s, forensic nursing experts recommend using photographs to document injury. The photos show both how an injury occurred and how it is healing.

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) also supports photography as a more accurate means for assessment of wound dimensions and wound base over time.

A visual confirmation to the written record, these images:

  • Facilitate better diagnosis
  • Enhance clinical documentation
  • Help to monitor the progress of wound healing
  • Help prevent litigation in wound management
  • Allow inter-disciplinary communication among the wound care team

Read more at Wound Wizard

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Successful documentation of wound care

By Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP

Providers are often surprised at how pages upon pages of documentation in a patient’s health record can result in few reportable diagnosis and/or procedure codes, which often fail to capture the complexity of the patient’s condition. However, providers need to be aware of the implications of coding. As healthcare data become increasingly digital through initiatives such as meaningful use, coded data not only impact reimbursement but also are increasingly used to represent the quality of care provided. Here’s a closer look at how documentation and coding work in the context of wound care. (more…)

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Thank you for your interest in WoundCareadvisor.com

 

I want free eBooks to Advance my Career.

Caring for Wounds eBook Series: Pressure Injuries

Wound Care Advisor eBooks are interactive digital tools full of insightful content, white papers and tutorials on trending topics that are assembled from the editorial staff along with supportive content provided by our marketing partners.

I want to watch free
Webinars to Continue my Education.

Convatec Skin Tears Webinar

Educate yourself on various products, valuable healthcare information, or continuing your education by exploring the archive of nursing Webinars.

I want to learn more Best Practices.

nurse beating heart american nurses association

Accurate and considered wound assessment is essential to fulfill professional nursing requirements and ensure appropriate patient and wound management.

Read More

2016 Journal: November – December Vol. 5 No. 6

Wound Care Advisor Journal 2016 Nov/Dec Vol. 5 No. 6

Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention


Herpes zoster (HZ, also called shingles) is a painful condition that produces a maculopapular and vesicular rash. Usually, the rash appears along a single dermatome (band) around one side of the body or face. In most cases, pain, tingling, burning, or itching occurs a few days before the rash. Next, blisters form, scabbing over in 7 to 10 days. In…
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Frequently asked questions about support surfaces

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) describes support surfaces as “specialized devices for pressure redistribution designed for management of tissue loads, microclimate, and/or other therapeutic functions.” These devices include specialized mattresses, mattress overlays, chair cushions, and pads used on transport stretchers, operating room (OR) tables, examination or procedure tables, and gurneys. Some support surfaces are part of an integrated…

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Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention

Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention

Herpes zoster (HZ, also called shingles) is a painful condition that produces a maculopapular and vesicular rash. Usually, the rash appears along a single dermatome (band) around one side of the body or face. In most cases, pain, tingling, burning, or itching occurs a few days before the rash. Next, blisters form, scabbing over in 7 to 10 days. In…

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Knowing when to ask for help

As a wound care expert, you’re probably consulted for every eruption, scrape, and opening in a patient’s skin. Occasionally during a patient assessment, you may scratch your head and ask yourself, “What is this? I’ve never seen anything like it.” Most wound care experts want to help heal everyone, and most of us love a challenge. But when should we…

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Managing chronic venous leg ulcers — what’s the latest evidence?

Managing chronic venous leg ulcers — what’s the latest evidence?

Chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs) affect nearly 2.2 million Americans annually, including an estimated 3.6% of people over the age of 65. Given that CVLU risk increases with age, the global incidence is predicted to escalate dramatically because of the growing population of older adults. Annual CVLU treatment-related costs to the U.S. healthcare system alone are upwards of $3.5 billion,…

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Ostomy documentation tips

General characteristics Document if the diversion is an intestinal or urinary ostomy, whether it’s temporary or permanent, and the location— abdominal quadrant, skin fold, umbilicus. (See Descriptor reference.)

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Skin substitutes: Understanding product differences

Skin substitutes (also called tissuebased products and dermal replacements) are a boon to chronic wound management when traditional therapies have failed. When selecting skin substitutes for their formularies, wound care professionals have many product options—and many decisions to make. Repair of skin defects has been a pressing concern for centuries. As early as the 15th century BC, Egyptian physicians chronicled…

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2016 Journal: November – December Vol. 5 No. 6

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Our gold medal issue: Best of the Best 2016

This issue marks the fourth anniversary of the “Best of the Best” issue of Wound Care Advisor, the official journal of the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy. Fittingly, it comes during an Olympics year. Since 1904, the Olympics have awarded gold medals to athletes whose performance makes them the “best of the best.” This year, we’re proud to present our own “Best of the Best” in print format. (more…)

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2016 Journal: July – August Vol. 5 No. 4

Wound Care Advisor Journal 2016

Practicing emotional intelligence may help reduce lateral violence

It’s been a stressful day at work—nothing new. One confused patient pulled off her ostomy bag, you’re having difficulties applying negative-pressure wound therapy on another, and a third patient’s family is angry with you. We all experience stressful days, but unfortunately, sometimes we take our stress out on each other. Too often, this ineffective way of identifying and managing stress leads nurses to engage in lateral violence.

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Assessing footwear in patients with diabetes

Inappropriate footwear is the most common source of trauma in patients with diabetes. Frequent and proper assessment of appropriate footwear is essential for protecting the diabetic foot from ulceration. Here is a step-by-step process for evaluating footwear. Be sure to evaluate footwear with the patient walking, standing, and sitting.

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Balancing the wheels of life

Have you ever ridden a bicycle with a wobbly wheel? The ride isn’t smooth, and you notice every bump in the road. As you focus on your discomfort, you may be distracted from the beautiful vistas you’re riding past. Think of the bicycle as your overall health, which carries you through life. For most of us, learning how to ride a bike begins in childhood as we learn…

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Clinical Notes: biofilm, bariatric surgery, statins and more

Management of biofilm recommendations The Journal of Wound Care has published “Recommendations for the management of biofilm: a consensus document,” developed through the Italian Nursing Wound Healing Society. The panel that created the document identified 10 interventions strongly recommended for clinical practice; however, panel members noted that, “there is a paucity of reliable, well-conducted clinical trials which have produced clear evidence related to the effects of biofilm presence.”

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Clinician Resources

Wound patient’s bill of rights The Association for Advancement of Wound Care has developed the “Wound Care Patient’s Bill of Rights.” The 10 points include the right to: • know what wound treatment options are available to you • know the benefits, risks, and side effects of your wound care treatments • participate in the development of your treatment plan with your wound care team • have…

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Doing it cheaply vs. doing what’s best for patients

Sad but true: Much of what we do as healthcare professionals is based on reimbursement. For nearly all the services and products we use in wound care and ostomy management, Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies control reimbursement. For many years, these payers have been deciding which interventions, medications, products, and equipment are the best, and then reimbursing only for those items. If we want to use something not on the list,…

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Instill instead: Negative pressure wound therapy with instillation for complex wounds

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses negative pressure to draw wound edges together, remove edema and infectious material, and promote perfusion and granulation tissue development. The tissue stretch and compression created by negative pressure during NPWT promotes tissue perfusion and granulation tissue development through angiogenesis, cellular proliferation, fibroblast migration, increased production of wound healing proteins, and reduction of wound area. NPWT has been used to improve healing in a variety of wounds, including traumatic…

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Practicing emotional intelligence may help reduce lateral violence

It’s been a stressful day at work—nothing new. One confused patient pulled off her ostomy bag, you’re having difficulties applying negative-pressure wound therapy on another, and a third patient’s family is angry with you. We all experience stressful days, but unfortunately, sometimes we take our stress out on each other. Too often, this ineffective way of identifying and managing stress leads nurses to engage in lateral violence.

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Preparing the wound bed: Basic strategies, novel methods

The goal of wound-bed preparation is to create a stable, well-vascularized environment that aids healing of chronic wounds. Without proper preparation, even the most expensive wound-care products and devices are unlikely to produce positive outcomes. To best prepare the wound bed, you need to understand wound healing physiology and wound care basics, as well as how to evaluate the patient’s overall health and manage wounds that don’t respond to treatment. (See…

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Understanding NPUAP’s updates to pressure ulcer terminology and staging

On April 13, 2016, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announced changes in pressure ulcer terminology and staging definitions. Providers can adapt NPUAP’s changes for their clinical practice and documentation, but it’s important to note that, as of press time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not adopted the changes. This means that providers can’t use NPUAP’s updates when completing CMS assessment forms, such as the Minimum…

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Who can perform sharp wound debridement?

Nurses and therapists often wonder if their license permits them to perform sharp wound debridement. Scope of practice varies significantly from state to state, so it’s imperative to check your state for specific guidance, but we can address some of the challenges clinicians face in deciding whether they can perform this valuable service for patients. Sharp debridement vs. other forms

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2016 Journal: July – August Vol. 5 No. 4
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2015 Journal: November – December Vol. 4 No. 6

Role of the ostomy specialist clinician in ileal pouch anal anastomosis surgery

Restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) is the gold standard for surgical treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). It’s also done to treat colon and rectal cancers, such as those caused by Lynch syndrome (LS). IPAA allows the patient to maintain fecal continence and evacuate stool from the anus after colon and rectum removal. A temporary ileo­stomy may be part of the overall process, but there’s no need for a permanent stoma.

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Clinical Notes: Modified Braden Risk Score, dialysis patients, plantar

Modified Braden risk score proposed A study in Ostomy Wound Management states the risk classification of patients using Braden Scale scores should comprise three (rather than five) levels: high risk, with a total score ≤11; moderate risk, with a total score of 12 to 16; and mild risk, with a total score ≥17. The retrospective analysis of consecutively admitted patients…

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Clinician Resources: falls, npuap, patient safety, civility

End your year by checking out these resources for your practice.   Sentinel event alert for falls As part of its sentinel event alert “Preventing falls and fall-related injuries in health care facilities,” The Joint Commission has assembled information and multiple resources, including: analysis of contributing factors for falls evidence-based suggestions for improvement Joint Commission requirements relevant to falls links to…

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Cutaneous candidiasis

By Nancy Morgan, RN, BSN, MBA, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS Each issue, Apple Bites brings you a tool you can apply in your daily practice. Here’s an overview of cutaneous candi­diasis. Cutaneous candidiasis is an infection of the skin caused by the yeast Candida albicans or other Candida species. Here’s a snapshot of this condition.

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therapy department wound care

Is your therapy department on board with your wound care team?

By Cheryl Robillard, PT, WCC, CLT, DWC Patients in your clinical practice who develop wounds should prompt a call for “all hands on deck” to manage the situation, but some personnel may be missing the boat. Physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) should be on board your wound care ship so patients can receive care they…

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Prove the Value Program

Click here to download the PDF.

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Providing skin care for bariatric patients

Providing skin care for bariatric patients

By Gail R. Hebert, MS, RN CWCN, DWC, WCC, OMS How would you react if you heard a 600-lb patient was being admitted to your unit? Some healthcare professionals would feel anxious—perhaps because they’ve heard bariatric patients are challenging to care for, or they feel unprepared to provide their care.

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Role of the ostomy specialist clinician in ileal pouch anal anastomosis surgery

By Leanne Richbourg, MSN, RN, APRN-BC, CWON-AP, CCCN, GCNS-BC Restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) is the gold standard for surgical treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). It’s also done to treat colon and rectal cancers, such as those caused by Lynch syndrome (LS). IPAA allows the patient to maintain fecal continence and evacuate…

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Seeing healthcare from a new perspective

By: Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS As healthcare clinicians, our world is full of tasks to be completed. Some are new, but many are tasks we repeat every day and thus have become routine—things we could almost do in our sleep. But what’s routine for us may not be routine for our patients. For some patients, these…

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Staying out of sticky situations: How to choose the right tape for your patient

By Ann-Marie Taroc, MSN, RN, CPN Are you using the wrong kind of medical tape on your patients? Although we strive to provide the safest care possible, some nurses may not realize that medical tape used to secure tubes and dressings can cause harm. The harm may stem from using the wrong product or using a product incorrectly, which can…

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Time to select a support surface

By Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS Having the proper support surface for beds and wheelchairs is imperative in preventing pressure ulcers. “Pressure” ulcers are named that for a reason—pressure is the primary cause of interruption of blood flow to the tissue. Unfortunately, guidelines for support surface selection tend to make recommendations for the type of surface to…

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PDF: 2015 Journal: November – December Vol. 4 No. 6

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2016 Journal: January – February Vol. 5 No. 1

Top 10 outpatient reimbursement questions

At the 2015 Wild on Wounds conference, the interactive workshop “Are You Ready for an Outpatient Reimbursement Challenge?” featured a lively discussion among participants about 25 real-life reimbursement scenarios. Here are the top 10 questions the attendees asked, with the answers I provided.

Q Why is it necessary for qualified healthcare professionals (QHPs) such as physicians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical nurse specialists to identify the place of service where they provide wound care services and to correctly state the place of service on their claim forms?

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Buzz Report: Latest trends, Part 1

We all lead busy lives, with demanding work schedules and home responsibilities that can thwart our best intentions. Although we know it’s our responsibility to stay abreast of changes in our field, we may feel overwhelmed when we try to make that happen. Keeping clinicians up-to-date on clinical knowledge is one of the main goals of the Wild On Wounds…

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Case study: Peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum

As a wound care specialist, you have learned about many skin conditions, some so unusual and rare that you probably thought you would never observe them. I’ve been a nurse for 38 years, with the last 10 years in wound care, and that’s certainly what I thought. But I was wrong. Let me tell you about my challenging patient with…

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Clincal Notes: Analysis, Osteomyelitis, sickle cell, maggot

Value of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in wound care “Systematic reviews and meta-analyses—literature-based recommendations for evaluating strengths, weaknesses, and clinical value,” in Ostomy Wound Management, discusses evidence-based practice and how systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) can help improve management of wound care patients. The authors of the article explain evidence-based practice and provide useful definitions for key terms. They…

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Clinician Resources: Ulcer Prevention, CAUTI, Negative Bacteria

Start the New Year off right by checking out these resources. Pressure ulcer prevention education Access the following education resources from Wounds International: The webinar “Real-world solutions for pressure ulcer prevention: Optimising the role of support surfaces” includes: • an overview of the issue of pressure ulcers • what to consider when choosing a support surface • how to operationalize…

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Don’t go it alone

A fundamental rule of wound care is to treat the “whole” patient, not just the “hole” in the patient. To do this, we need to focus on a holistic approach to healing, which means evaluating everything that’s going on with the patient—from nutrition, underlying diseases, and medications to activity level, social interactions, and even sleep patterns. We know that as…

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Empowering patients to play an active role in pressure ulcer prevention

Developing a pressure ulcer can cause the patient pain, lead to social isolation, result in reduced mobility, and can even be fatal. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, estimated costs for each pressure ulcer range from $37,800 to $70,000, and the total annual cost of pressure ulcers in the United States is an estimated $11 billion. Nurses…

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Medications and wound healing

Each issue, Apple Bites brings you a tool you can apply in your daily practice. Here are examples of medications that can affect wound healing. Assessment and care planning for wound healing should include a thorough review of the individual’s current medications to identify those that may affect healing outcomes. Clinicians must then weigh the risks and benefits of continuing…

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Pros Cons Hydrocolloid Foot Ulcers

Pros and cons of hydrocolloid dressings for diabetic foot ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers stem from multiple factors, including peripheral neuropathy, high plantar pressures, decreased vascularity, and impaired wound healing. Contributing significantly to morbidity, they may cause limb loss and death. (See Foot ulcers and diabetes.) Initially, hydrocolloid dressings were developed to function as part of the stomal flange. Based on their success in protecting peristomal skin, they were introduced gradually…

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Restorative nursing programs help prevent pressure ulcers

Immobility affects all our body systems, including our skin. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, many contributing factors are associated with the formation of a pressure ulcer, with impaired mobility leading the list. So what can clinicians do to prevent harm caused by immobility? One often-overlooked strategy is a restorative nursing program. (See About restorative nursing.) Moving up…

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The power of the positive

Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It’s leadership. — Ralph S. Marston, Jr., author and publisher of The Daily Motivator website Clinicians may encounter many challenges and stressors in the workplace—long hours, rotating shifts, inadequate staffing, poor teamwork, and pressure to achieve higher performance levels in an emotionally and physically demanding field. But hope exists. Positive psychology…

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Top 10 outpatient reimbursement questions

  At the 2015 Wild on Wounds conference, the interactive workshop “Are You Ready for an Outpatient Reimbursement Challenge?” featured a lively discussion among participants about 25 real-life reimbursement scenarios. Here are the top 10 questions the attendees asked, with the answers I provided. Q Why is it necessary for qualified healthcare professionals (QHPs) such as physicians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners,…

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2016 Journal: January – February Vol. 5 No. 1

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