Financial Aspects in Wound Care
Wounds in nursing homes are extremely expensive. Wounds can affect the quality of life for a patient and the bottom line of a nursing home. In order to decrease costs and increase quality of life it is necessary to treat wounds early on with the most effective means possible.
Included in this paper are two articles discussing wound care costs. The first is written by Diamond (2010) concerning benchmarks in wound care and the second is by Vu, T., Harris, A., Duncan, G., & Sussman, G., (2007) regarding the cost effectiveness of wound care.
The first article can be summarized as nursing homes overusing outside sources as the primary means of wound care instead of taking the more direct hands on approach by using recommended wound care guidelines in house. The cost of using outside facilities and treatments is almost double to treatment within the nursing home (Diamond, 2010).
This article contains excellent information. It points out the positives of maintaining wound care within the facility and the negatives of using outside sources. Although there were not specific cost data included into the article cost saving suggestions included: Avoidance of in house injuries that may cause further complications, for example, removing wheelchair pedals during transfers, quickly establishing a wound care program upon wound identification, managing associated risk factors such as: diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, venous insufficiency, incontinence, nutritional compromise and if outside assistance becomes necessary, develop a facility wound care formulary so that the clinical specialist can prescribe treatments that are available within the facility. The second article which is actually a study can be recapitulated as chronic wound healing can be improved and cost effective with a standard treatment regimen and trained personnel versus random care and personnel without wound experience. Although there are not as many points in this article to help tackle the issue as in the first article the primary point is huge in comparison: “Standardized treatment provided by a trained multidisciplinary wound care team significantly improved healing outcomes of uncomplicated leg and pressure ulcers and reduced treatment costs (Vu, Harris, Duncan, Sussman, 2007).” Both articles are useful and informative This interview is in reference to prevention of pressure ulcers. The assignment requires at least two individuals be interviewed but because the prevention of pressure ulcers requires an interdisciplinary approach I have interviewed six different individuals on the team including: S. Inskeep – Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON), C. Devereaux – In-Service Director, RN, R. Nelson – Registered Nurse, wounds, D. Niedhart – Certified Nursing Aide (CNA), J. Taylor – Dietician, and J. Pippin – Billing. Ms. Sue is the ADON and explains that pressure sores occur when the blood flow is decreased to any particular area of the skin. This primarily occurs over bony prominences such as elbows, heels, shoulder blades and sacrum area but can also occur on the back of the head and on the ears as well. Ms. Sue relays that the facility she works in has many programs in place to decrease the likelihood of pressure ulcers. A few of those programs include a turning and repositioning schedule, ambulation, range of motion programs and toileting schedules. She states that it is her job to ensure these programs are occurring and that she makes rounds several times each day to monitor the activities of the nursing aides (S. Inskeep, personal communication, September 6, 2011). This can be related to a financial issue in that it does take additional time for Ms. Sue to make these rounds but the rounds reduces the financial burden of potential pressure ulcers if the programs listed above are followed correctly. Ms. Colleen is the in-service director. She educates the...