Mastering the art of meetings

By Toni Ann Loftus, MBA, RN, MHA

Meetings are a powerful communication tool. They bring together people who can look at an issue from their own unique perspective and contribute to a solution acceptable to many disciplines. Generally, meetings are held to:

• discuss common issues
• brainstorm ideas for solving specific concerns
• make collaborative decisions about a shared concern or problem. (more…)

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Avoid surprises when connecting between care settings

By Jeri Lundgren, BSN, RN, PHN, CWS, CWCN

As wound care clinicians, we know that an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to prevention and management of a wound is crucial to positive outcomes, no matter where the patient is being seen. Yet too often when a patient transfers from one care setting to another, the only wound information that’s communicated is the current topical treatment. Most transfer forms only include generic spaces for “any skin concerns” and “treatments,” with no prompts for obtaining additional information. In fact, clinicians in many care settings frequently report they had no idea the patient had a wound until he or she was admitted.

Here’s how you can get the information you need to best care for the patient being transferred. (more…)

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Fifty shades of wound care at home

By Beth Hoffmire Heideman, MSN, BSN, RN, WCC, DWC, OMS

Fifty shades of wound care at home refers to treating the whole patient and the patient’s caregiving supporters—not just the wound. Only by understanding the nuances, or shades, of a patient and his or her environment can clinicians best achieve desired outcomes.

Wound healing in home care depends on teamwork. Members of the team must understand the unique situation of delivering care in the home and how to help patients adhere to the plan of care. (more…)

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Managing venous stasis ulcers

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

By Kulbir Dhillon, MSN, FNP, APNP, WCC

Venous disease, which encompasses all conditions caused by or related to diseased or abnormal veins, affects about 15% of adults. When mild, it rarely poses a problem, but as it worsens, it can become crippling and chronic.

Chronic venous disease often is overlooked by primary and cardiovascular care providers, who underestimate its magnitude and impact. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) causes hypertension in the venous system of the legs, leading to various pathologies that involve pain, swelling, edema, skin changes, stasis dermatitis, and ulcers. An estimated 1% of the U.S. population suffers from venous stasis ulcers (VSUs). Causes of VSUs include inflammatory processes resulting in leukocyte activation, endothelial damage, platelet aggregation, and intracellular edema. Preventing VSUs is the most important aspect of CVI management. (more…)

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Clinician Resources

Greet the new year by tapping into some new resources.

Free app for patients with Crohn’s Disease

GI Buddy is a free tool from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America that patients can use to stay on top of managing their Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis symptoms. Patients can record what they eat, track their treatment and well-being, and access detailed reports. Patients also can access a video of tips for using GI Buddy, which is available online and as an iPhone app. (more…)

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Clinical Notes: diabetic foot osteomyelitis, BIA, footwear

Antibiotics and conservative surgery yield similar outcomes in patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis

A study in Diabetes Care finds that anti­biotics and surgery have similar outcomes related to rate of healing, time of healing, and short-term complications in patients who have neuropathic forefoot ulcers and osteomyelitis, but no ischemia or necrotizing soft-tissue infections.

Antibiotics versus conservative surgery for treating diabetic foot osteomyelitis. A randomized comparative trial” compared two groups: an antibiotics group and a surgery group. Patients in the antibiotics group received antibiotics for 90 days, and patients in the surgery group received conservative surgery with postoperative antibiotics for 10 days. (more…)

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Quality-improvement initiative: Classifying and documenting surgical wounds

By Jennifer Zinn, MSN, RN, CNS-BC, CNOR, and Vangela Swofford, BSN, RN, ASQ-CSSBB

For surgical patients, operative wound classification is crucial in predicting postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) and associated risks. Information about a patient’s wound typically is collected by circulating registered nurses (RNs) and documented at the end of every surgical procedure. (more…)

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How to apply a spiral wrap

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.


The spiral wrap is a technique used for applying compression bandaging.


Here’s how to apply a spiral wrap to the lower leg. Please note that commercial compression wraps come with specific instructions for proper bandaging technique. Be sure to follow these instructions to provide safe and effective compression. (more…)

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Have you made your New Year’s resolutions?

Aresolution is a serious decision or determination to do, or not to do, something. Traditionally, most New Year’s resolutions focus on self-improvement: losing weight, giving up a bad habit, exercising more, being a better person. Because most of us spend about half of our waking lives at work, perhaps our work lives should be the subject

of some of our resolutions. Here are a few work-related resolutions I’ve come up with: (more…)

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When and how to culture a chronic wound

how to culture a chronic wound

By Marcia Spear, DNP, ACNP-BC, CWS, CPSN

Chronic wound infections are a significant healthcare burden, contributing to increased morbidity and mortality, prolonged hospitalization, limb loss, and higher medical costs. What’s more, they pose a potential sepsis risk for patients. For wound care providers, the goal is to eliminate the infection before these consequences arise.

Most chronic wounds are colonized by polymicrobial aerobic-anaerobic microflora. However, practitioners continue to debate whether wound cultures are relevant. Typically, chronic wounds aren’t cultured unless the patient has signs and symptoms of infection, which vary depending on whether the wound is acute or chronic. (See Differentiating acute and chronic wounds.) (more…)

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A case of missed care

By Lydia A. Meyers RN, MSN, CWCN

Missed care, a relatively new concept in the medical community, refers to any part ofrequired patient care that is omitted of delayed. It’s not the same as a mistake or error, but like them, missed care can negatively affect patient outcomes.

I want to share the case of a patient admitted into home health care for wound care. The case includes several areas of missed care from many different different sources. (more…)

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