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physicians

by Dr. Michael Miller

Health care providers are by nature an altruistic bunch.  I have the honor of interviewing potential entries to my beloved profession as part of the admissions process at the newest Osteopathic Medical School in Indiana, Marian University.  The process is unique in that it does not simply ask the age old questions of “Why you want to be a physician ?”, (“Because I want to do primary care in a rural area”).  No, our probing involves scenarios in which they have to look at a social situation, identify their thoughts, those of the opposing views and then cohesively demonstrate intelligence, confidence, logical thought processes and humanity…all in an 8 minute period repeated 7 times.  Their responses juxtaposed against what I see in my day to day always gives me pause to think about how the practice of medicine has been so perverted by the promotion of self abdication of responsibility.  The “let your government do it for you” mantras and newest politically correct definitions of disabled (encompassing everything from melancholia to dislike of red M and M’s) have resulted in a major paradigm shift in medicine.  Whereas, the hospitals once touted their ability to heal all manner of maladies, they now recognize their cost ineffectiveness, more detrimental than beneficial care (just check the nutritional parameters of anyone pre and post hospitalization) and the downright danger of going to one, unless you are a burgeoning superbug. (more…)

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Wound care treatment explained at Rotary

Wound Care Solutions at Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers-Bryan

When treating people for wounds, the care team preforms both a comprehensive diagnosis and comprehensive treatment, Kathy Khandaker, director of wound care at Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers-Bryan, told the Bryan Rotary Club at its Friday meeting.

The wound care clinic opened at CHWC in 2006, added ostomy care in 2007, continence care in 2010 and added a full-time physician in 2015. The care team includes a wound care nurse, a hyperbaric oxygen therapy technician and a receptionist in addition to the physician. (more…)

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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, which are directly related to long healing times and recurrence rates of over 50%.

CVLUs are not only challenging and costly to treat, but the associated morbidity significantly reduces quality of life. That makes it critical for clinicians to choose evidence-based treatment strategies to achieve maximum healing outcomes and minimize recurrence rates of these common debilitating conditions. These strategies, which include compression therapy, specialized dressings, topical and oral medications, and surgery, are used to reduce edema, facilitate healing, and avert recurrence. (more…)

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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 bed system, which combines the bed frame and support surface into a single unit. (more…)

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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 Data Set (MDS) or Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS). Instead, they must code the CMS assessment forms according to current CMS instructions and definitions. In addition, there is no ICD-10 code for pressure injury. (more…)

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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 Normal wound healing.) (more…)

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2016 Journal: March – April Vol. 5 No. 2

2016 Journal: March – April Vol. 5 No. 2

No more skin tears

Imagine watching your skin tear, bleed, and turn purple. Imagine, too, the pain and disfigurement you’d feel.

What if you had to live through this experience repeatedly? That’s what many elderly people go through, suffering with skin tears through no fault of their own. Some go on to develop complications.

A skin tear is a traumatic wound caused by shear, friction, or blunt-force trauma that results in a partial

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Buzz Report: Latest trends, part 2

Keeping clinicians up-to-date on clinical knowledge is one of the main goals of the Wild on Wounds (WOW) conference held each September in Las Vegas. Every year, I present the opening session, called “The Buzz Report,” which focuses on the latest-breaking wound care news—what’s new, what’s now, and what’s coming up. I discuss new products, practice guidelines, resources, and tools from the last 12 months in skin, wound, and ostomy management. In…

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Caution: Checklists may lead to inaccurate documentation

Using a checklist form to document wound care can make the task easier and faster—and help ensure that you’ve captured all pertinent data needed for assessment, reimbursement, and legal support. But the form itself may not be comprehensive; some important fields may be missing. Recently, we at Wound Care Advisor received a question from a clinician who was having trouble deciding how to code a patient’s wound in her hospital’s…

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Clinical Notes: ostomy, pressure ulcer, burn treatment

Self-management ostomy program improves HRQOL A five-session ostomy self-care program with a curriculum based on the Chronic Care Model can improve health-related quality of life (HRQOL), according to a study in Psycho-Oncology. “A chronic care ostomy self-management program for cancer survivors” describes results from a longitudinal pilot study of 38 people. Participants reported sustained improvements in patient activation, self-efficacy, total HRQOL, and physical and social well-being. Most patients had a history of…

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Clinician Resources: human trafficking, npuap, caregiver, ostomy, HIV

Check out the following resources, all designed to help you in your clinical practice. Human trafficking resources Victims of human trafficking often suffer tremendous physical and psychological damage. Clinicians play an important role in identifying potential victims so they can obtain help. Here are some resources to learn more about human trafficking. • “Addressing human trafficking in the health care setting” is an online course that includes a…

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Comprehensive turning programs can avoid a pain in the back

Turning programs are essential to prevent and promote healing of pressure ulcers and to prevent the many negative effects of immobility, ranging from constipation to respiratory infections. However, turning a patient often puts a caregiver’s body in an awkward position, which can lead to musculoskeletal damage, especially back injuries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare workers suffer…

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Exercise your right to be fit!

Nearly all clinicians know exercise is good for our physical and mental health. But incorporating it into our busy lives can be a challenge. The only types of exercise some clinicians have time for are working long shifts, juggling life’s demands, balancing the books, jumping on the bandwagon, climbing the ladder of success, and skipping meals. Clinicians are in a…

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FAQs about support surfaces

Support surfaces are consistently recommended for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. So patients can derive optimal benefits from support surfaces, clinicians must understand how to use them effectively. This article answers several questions about these useful tools.

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How to apply silver nitrate

Topical application of silver nitrate is often used in wound care to help remove and debride hypergranulation tissue or calloused rolled edges in wounds or ulcerations. It’s also an effective agent to cauterize bleeding in wounds. Silver nitrate is a highly caustic material, so it must be used with caution to prevent damage to healthy tissues.

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No more skin tears

Imagine watching your skin tear, bleed, and turn purple. Imagine, too, the pain and disfigurement you’d feel. What if you had to live through this experience repeatedly? That’s what many elderly people go through, suffering with skin tears through no fault of their own. Some go on to develop complications. A skin tear is a traumatic wound caused by shear, friction, or blunt-force trauma that results in a partial-…

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Nutritional considerations in patients with pressure ulcers

Optimizing nutritional status is a key strategy both in preventing and managing pressure ulcers. In patients across all care settings, compromised nutrition— as from poor intake, undesired weight loss, and malnutrition—increases the risk of pressure ulcers. It contributes to altered immune function, impaired collagen synthesis, and decreased tensile strength. In many cases, malnutrition also contributes to wound chronicity and increases the risk for delayed and impaired wound healing. In patients with chronic…

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2016 Journal: March – April Vol. 5 No. 2

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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

Click here to access the digital edition

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Clinician Resources: OSHA, Education Program, Civil Workplace

This issue we focus on resources to help clinicians protect themselves from injuries and engage in a healthier lifestyle.

OSHA safety website

A hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency provides a wealth of information on how to protect hospital workers as part of its website Worker Safety in Hospitals: Caring for Our CaregiversPDF resources include:

A fact sheet that helps dispel myths, barriers, and concerns related to safe patient handling

Information on making the case for safe patient handling programs (more…)

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Quiz Time 5/13/16

Which statement about hyperglycemia and mortality in patients receiving nutritional support is correct?

a. Compared to parenteral nutrition (PN), general nutrition (EN) increases hyperglycemia risk nearly twofold.
b. Compared to EN, PN increases hyperglycemia risk nearly twofold.
c. Patients whose blood glucose (BG) level stays above 220 mg/dL during PN therapy have an increased risk of death.
d. Patients whose blood glucose (BG) level stays above 220 mg/dL during PN therapy have a decreased risk of death.

Correct answer: b. Experts estimate that up to 30% of patients receiving EN and more than 50% of those receiving PN develop hyperglycemia, defined as a BG level above 200 mg/ dL. Compared to EN, PN increases hyperglycemia risk nearly twofold, even when caloric intake is similar. One study found inadequate glucose control both before and during nutrition therapy predicted a higher mortality risk.

Learn more by reading “Supplemental nutrition in hospitalized patients with diabetes

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Clinician Resources: human trafficking, npuap, caregiver, ostomy, HIV

Check out the following resources, all designed to help you in your clinical practice.

Human trafficking resources

Victims of human trafficking often suffer tremendous physical and psychological damage. Clinicians play an important role in identifying potential victims so they can obtain help.

Here are some resources to learn more about human trafficking.

Addressing human trafficking in the health care setting” is an online course that includes a downloadable quick-reference guide that can be saved and easily accessed from a mobile device to assist providers with essential information in the healthcare setting. (more…)

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Exercise your right to be fit!

Nearly all clinicians know exercise is good for our physical and mental health. But incorporating it into our busy lives can be a challenge. The only types of exercise some clinicians have time for are working long shifts, juggling life’s demands, balancing the books, jumping on the bandwagon, climbing the ladder of success, and skipping meals.

Clinicians are in a unique position to help patients change their behavior to improve their health. Ironically, the first behavior clinicians need to change is to work toward improving our own exercise habits. (more…)

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