Wound Care a Top Priority for Agencies

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson
Wound Care for Home Health Agencies

As the U.S. population continues to age and healthcare shifts to lower-acuity settings, home health agencies must come to grips with wound care. Preventing them is the ultimate goal, but agencies should have a comprehensive system to document and care for the wounds that patients suffer.

For Valley Health Home Health, the answer is McKesson Homecare™ Wound Advisor, according to Patty Klinefelter, RN MBA, agency director. The agency, which provides more than 75,000 annual visits in all disciplines to patients in its northern Virginia and West Virginia service area, has seen:

— Improved wound care outcomes
— Improved/standardized wound documentation
— Availability of wound, ostomy and continence nurse (WOCN) office review
— Establishment of protocols including supply use
— Decreased supply expense
— Decreased visits
— Easier identification of deteriorating wounds
— Quicker response from WOCN
— Ability to store digital photos in McKesson Homecare
— Availability of field staff to view digital photos
— Ability to email photos to physician/wound clinic

Klinefelter says that the role of its wound nurses at Valley Health Home Health have been greatly enhanced since the agency adopted Wound Advisor. A nurse reviews wound information, including assessment, pictures and trends, then recommends care plan changes, if necessary, coordinating with the referring physician. She also makes home visits, completes case conferences and develops action plans for any outcome that’s not meeting target.

One agency in the Valley Health system has seen a 75% reduction in wound care home visits after adopting McKesson Homecare Wound Advisor. Another agency allows physician access to the system, which executives say has been beneficial for referrals.

Wound care must be a priority for home health agencies, Klinefelter says. “Your nurses need to be competent in this area,” she says.

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