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Are You Hitting Wound Care Metrics With Your Current Documentation & Quality Improvements?

Tracking quality indicators in your wound care sets you up for success with reimbursement and quality control.

Is your facility’s wound healing better than other local centers?

Are your patients making notable progress?

Are your interventions leading to faster healing times?

Wound care metrics are important benchmarks for quality control. But unlike many other specialties, wound care has not had CMS-approved quality measures until recently. The US Wound & Podiatry Registries developed wound care metrics to help healthcare facilities get closer to a standard of care. It includes the following:

  1. Diabetic foot ulcer healing or closure in 6 months
  2. Venous leg ulcer healing or closure within 12 months
  3. Using hyperbaric oxygen therapy appropriately for diabetic foot ulcers
  4. Using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to achieve (patient-reported) improvement of late effects of radiation
  5. Adequate offloading of diabetic foot ulcers
  6. Using non-invasive arterial assessments to gauge the healing potential in patients with lower extremity ulcers
  7. Closure of a pressure ulcer that is not on a lower extremity
  8. Adequate compression of venous leg ulcers

The US Wound & Podiatry Registries developed these with the insight from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the American Podiatric Management Association (APMA), and Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders.

They also offer suggestions for merit-based incentive payment programs (MIPS). These, however, aren’t all directly correlated to wound care.

Are you tracking measurements to meet these wound care metrics?

When you’re tracking important details, your facility and your patients are less likely to slip through the cracks. Neither the caregivers nor the patients want to be stuck in a loop of semi-effective care. CMS and in-house auditing do not want to find missing documentation either.

Having your documentation focused on relevant metrics will give you peace of mind. You’ll be more prepared for personal audits, insurance claim requirements, and quality improvement.

  • Patient’s progress gets tracked more efficiently.
  • Robust documentation helps track your facility’s general outcomes and trends.
  • They help you correlate effective (and ineffective) care trends.
  • The metrics are essential for your company’s wound care quality improvement.
  • Robust wound care documentation sets you up for success when patients need specific details for reimbursement or care.

Are you an auditor in charge of your facility’s quality control? A medical provider in charge of improving your patients’ care plan? Either way, appropriate wound care documentation needs to be ready and organized at your fingertips.

What are quality indicators in wound care?

Unfortunately, these wound care measures aren’t foolproof. For example, the metric for compression for venous leg ulcers, is only required for 12 months. However, evidence shows that long-term compression is a key preventive measure for keeping the wounds from recurring.

An efficient documentation system will help take your facility’s quality farther than the national standards. And meeting and exceeding national metrics starts with data collection utilizing a standardized tool.

So, what wound data needs to be collected?

Wound size

Is your patient’s wound getting bigger or smaller? Since accurate wound measurement is such a core data point, it’s critical that the staff at your facility is using the same measurement practices. With the manual ruler method, wounds can be overestimated in size–on average, wounds are measured 40% larger than they truly are.

The best way to streamline appropriate measurement is with image-capturing digital wound management technology. A clinician only needs to take a picture using this technology–it will automatically measure the length, with, and depth. This prevents staff from mismeasuring with a ruler. It also speeds efficiency and reduces the need to touch the patient.

Wound assessment

How does the wound look? Is there more slough–or less slough? Being able to see an increase in granulation tissue and epithelialization (and a decrease in eschar and slough) is essential for tracking wounds. Clinicians need wound assessment to evaluate the effects of ordered treatments.

Periwound assessment

What does the skin look like around the wound? Is it soggy (macerated)? Callus? Red and hot? Periwound assessment offers invaluable insight on the patient’s potential for infection, wound offloading, and skin breakdown.

Wound recurrence

Did the patient’s wound stay healed? A staggering 40% of diabetic wounds reoccur within the year and up to 70% of venous stasis wounds reoccur within a year.

Offering appropriate maintenance is key for preventing old wounds from reoccurring. A healed wound is good, but not if it returns a few days, weeks, or months later. A comprehensive wound charting system will allow you to see who has wounds, who doesn’t, and whose wounds have been there before.

Length of stay

How long was your patient getting treated by you? Shorten stays by increasing healing rate. This will help you gauge whether you’re meeting the time-limited metrics.

Blood glucose control

Over 10% of the US have diabetes–and diabetic wounds are the #1 cause of amputations in the US. This is because wounds can’t heal when blood sugars aren’t controlled. Even if you’re offering the best wound care possible, it won’t help if blood glucose management isn’t part of their care plan. Tracking patient compliance with blood sugar management is an excellent way to help them get the most out of their other wound care interventions.

Compression

Venous ulcers account for 60 to 80% of leg wounds. Compression is the gold standard for these wounds–without it, wound topicals and dressings have limited value.

A key component of wound documentation for these wounds is compression details. Was a patient able to tolerate compression? How much compression was ordered? What kind of compression dressing was used?

Offloading measures

Feet, bony prominences, and other pressure-prone areas are prime locations for wounds. If a patient is not keeping weight off their vulnerable wound, other wound interventions will have limited usefulness.

Documentation to meet the offloading metric can include several things. Total contact casting, wearing an offloading boot, and/or using a kneely scooter are all documentable measures on patient compliance with offloading.

Nutrition assessment

A wound is a nutrition deficit in the body. The body needs protein to maintain the integrity of its tissues, but an actual breakdown requires more. This is especially true in patients that are already prone to poor nutrition, such as ones with pressure ulcers.

Is your patient getting the nutrition they need? Ask your patients and document what efforts they’re making to include more protein in their diet.

Is your wound care documentation system enough?

A good wound care documentation system will help collect and organize the data you need. If you’re having to dig through individual charts to collect data…then your software is not suitable to your needs.

An efficient system will organize metrics with:

  • Graphed data. Instead of digging for each piece of information, then organizing it for analysis, an efficient system will do it for you.
  • Handoff overview. What are the overview details? This is essential for a handoff report, either from a care provider to another care provider, or a nurse arriving to give care alone, as seen in home health.
  • Patient lists. Whether you’re giving patient care or auditing the charts, a customizable patient list will make your job easier.
  • Integrating into your current system. If your wound documentation system is supplemental, it needs to be able to automatically integrate into the core system as well.
  • Having an on-demand help line. If you’re in the field, a good documentation system company will be available to help any time.
  • Having printable reports. Many EMR systems will simply print the screen display–not the exact report. Pulling together necessary documents to fax for insurance, audits, or your personal auditing should be streamlined.

Meet your wound care metrics with WoundZoom

Wound care affects virtually all areas of the medical field–but especially home health, long-term care, and ICUs. But does your EHR have a clinical wound dashboard? Can you pull up robust, real-time wound metrics across your entire wound census?

If your current platform doesn’t allow for easy image capturing, standardized wound measurements, and fast assessments, your patients may be missing out on expedited healing. And you may find your practice slipping through the cracks on key metrics.

At Perceptive Solutions, we know these are essential to your company’s wound care quality improvement. Request your 30-minute FREE demo today to see if WoundZoom is the right fit for your organization.

Meta title: Hit Your Wound Care Metrics With Better Documentation

Meta description: What are quality indicators in wound care? If you want to meet & exceed your metrics, your wound care quality improvement relies on robust documentation.

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quality indicators wound care

wound care quality improvement

Wound care metrics