A Seasoned Wound Care Certified RN’s Input On Using Digital Wound Management

A conversation with Kelly Heinbuch, RN, BSN, WCC, DWC of Dove Healthcare and their decision to adopt digital wound management.

Comprehensive wound care documentation is imperative in the delivery of high quality wound care. At Dove Healthcare, adhering to high standards and focusing on innovation in their care delivery is just part of how they are commit to excellence every day. Several years ago they saw the opportunity to innovate and improve their wound care program through the use of digital wound management. Hear what Kelly Heinbuch, RN, BSN, WCC, DWC at Dove Healthcare has to share about their experience and her advice for other facilities.

  • What is your role/title and how long have you been with Dove Healthcare?

Dove Healthcare consists of six skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and five assisted living residences in Barron, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Osseo, and Rice Lake. Core services include rehabilitation, post-acute care, ventilator care, skilled nursing, long-term and end-of-life care, as well as assisted living and memory care. Our talented and diverse workforce of approximately 900 employees serves an average of 400 residents and patients every day.

I have been at Dove Healthcare – West Eau Claire since 2002. While I have held many roles during this time, I have been the primary wound care nurse since 2012. I am also part of our RN case manager team assisting with oversight of patient care and supervising nursing employees.

  • Explain a bit about your wound care team and the patients you see.

Our wound care team consists of nutritional services, nurses, therapists, a registered dietitian, and our medical director.

Patients with a variety of wound care needs are referred to Dove Healthcare – West Eau Claire, including post-surgical wounds, pressure and diabetic ulcers, and wounds related to or complicated by lymphedema, poor circulation, chronic inflammation, vascular disorders, and other conditions.

  • How has your wound care program evolved over the past few years?

I feel our team is more confident as there are a lot more wound care treatment resources available. For example, the photographs that are taken on a weekly basis allow us to better visualize when a change has occurred which assists with quicker MD notification and possible treatment options.

  • What challenges were you experiencing/areas of improvement that you were looking to achieve that led you to look at digital wound management solutions?

Innovation is rooted in our mission at Dove Healthcare. We are committed to excellence through adherence to high standards, and so we are always looking for innovative ways to advance patient care. Our team at Dove Healthcare – West Eau Claire felt that photography would contribute greatly towards enhanced documentation and education.

  • Adopting new software/technology can seem overwhelming at times, how did you and your team approach it to ensure a smooth process?

Early on, we devoted a lot of time into research regarding photographic wound documentation. Then, during the transition and implementation process, the team at WoundZoom assisted us every step of the way which contributed greatly towards a smooth process.

  • What was the feedback pre (told it was going to be adopted) and post adoption from nurses? Pre-feedback, many of the nurses were excited and curious, as they had not worked with photographic wound documentation before. Following implementation of the photograph wound documentation system, they had a better understanding of the different tissue types, definitions, and they could track the overall healing process.
  • What benefits has your facility experienced since adopting digital wound management?

Adopting digital wound management has been an important, effective component as it has added objective visual confirmation in the written record, and it has assisted with improving the ability to monitor wound status despite different nurses caring for the patient. Another benefit that we have experienced at Dove Healthcare – West Eau Claire is the effect that the photographs have in educating not only the patient, but their family as well. Wound photography has also allowed licensed team members and clinicians to monitor the stages of healing; detect the presence of complications; assess the effectiveness of treatments; and help educate our new team members and medical/nursing students as well.

Patient engagement/compliance is crucial for wound care healing progress, how have patients engaged with or felt about this technology when you use it with them?

I have had patients track their progress weekly, and share it with their family members. When they see improvements, they are motivated to continue with the current interventions, however, when declines or no changes are noted, then we can look back at the week and discuss what was different. This has definitely helped patients adhere to recommendations.

  • What would you tell other facilities that haven’t yet considered digital wound management for their wound care program?

Photographic wound documentation has become a more prevalent documentation tool. It can show both how an injury occurred and how it is healing, and you can track the overall progress visually along with the patient. It can assist with facilitating a better diagnosis; monitoring the progress of the wound; improving communication amongst the wound care team; and educating patients, families, and employees.

Interested to see how WoundZoom digital wound management can improve your wound care program?

Request your 30-minute FREE demo today to see how WoundZoom can bring greater efficiency, accuracy, and vigilance to your wound care program.