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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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Bedside ankle-brachial index testing: Time-saving tips

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA

A hot flush of embarrassment creates a bead of sweat on my forehead. “I’ve got to get this measurement,” I plead to myself. One glance at the clock tells me this bedside ankle-brachial index (ABI) procedure has already taken more than 30 minutes. My stomach sinks as I realize I’ll have to abandon the test as inconclusive. (more…)

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How to write effective wound care orders

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

Writing effective orders for wound care is vital to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time, to protect yourself from possible litigation, and to facilitate appropriate reimbursement for clinicians and organizations.
Below are some overall strategies you can use:
• Avoid “blanket” orders, for example, “continue previous treatment” or “resume treatment at home.” These types of general orders lack the specificity clinicians require to deliver care the patient needs and can be easily misinterpreted. For instance, treatments can change multiple times, and someone could pick a treatment from an incorrect date. (more…)

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“Ouch! That hurts!”

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

Wound pain can have a profound effect on a person’s life and is one of the most devastating aspects of living with a wound. In addition to pharmaceutical options, wound care clinicians should consider other key aspects of care that can alleviate pain. Here is a checklist to ensure you are thorough in your assessment. (more…)

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Mission possible: Getting Medicare reimbursement for wound care in acute-care settings

By Susan Reinach-Lannan, BSOM

In the current healthcare environment, wound care practitioners need to capitalize on all available reimbursement avenues for care delivery and wound care supplies and dressings. And when it comes to reimbursement, there’s one constant: The rules change constantly. Whether these changes always benefit the patient is questionable. Nowhere is this more evident than in acute-care settings. Clinicians constantly are challenged to make sure their patient-care decisions comply with current Medicare reimbursement guidelines. (And if you’re not sure about today’s guidelines, be prepared for the guidelines to change tomorrow.) (more…)

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Of artichokes and angry patients

By Katherine Rossiter, EJD, MSN, APRN-NP, CPNP; and Stephen Lazoritz, MD, CPE

An angry patient is like an artichoke. An artichoke is prickly and rough on the outside, but by taking time to learn how to peel its rough leaves, you reveal the tender inside. When nurtured under the right conditions, this tender inside grows to bloom into a beautiful purple flower. Patient anger is like the prickly green leaves of the artichoke, it’s a barrier to seeing “inside” and to effectively meeting the patient’s needs (more…)

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