Digital Wound Care For The Home Health Setting

The tool that supports efficient documentation, accurate assessments, and faster chart review

Home health is a central part of wound care. About 30% of patients receiving home health or hospice have wounds.

Home health isn’t simply for regular bandage changes for drainage management. Patients need an assessment from qualified healthcare professionals to ensure that their treatment plan is appropriate to continue.

A single provider serves multiple patients a day in the home health setting. Each patient in turn receives care from multiple providers. Smooth care coordination is of the utmost importance. One of the most valuable tools to support this is ultra-user-friendly wound documentation software.

Electronic health records (EHRs) have finally become more mainstream in the home health setting, moving away from paper documentation. Evidence shows that EHRs in the home health setting are correlated with timelier note completion…but not necessarily with improved patient outcomes.

Unfortunately, the presence of an EHR does not guarantee that home health professionals will have more accurate notes.

This is where wound care-specific software, like WoundZoom, will help.

  • Documentation flow is improved, helping providers input more accurate assessment details.
  • HIPAA-compliant wound photography becomes easy to capture and upload.
  • Wound measurement tools dramatically improve accuracy and efficiency.
  • Chart review is much easier, reducing the need to “dig through the chart.”
  • Data from the wound care software is uploaded to the EHR.

Efficient documentation gives a professional more time to devote to patient assessment and care. This ultimately supports accurate documentation, which helps all professionals giving the patient care.

1.   Easy chart reviewability helps providers better prepare

A home healthcare provider sees multiple people during a single day. They may or may not have seen these patients before. Regardless, it’s vital that every patient get a thorough treatment review before their assessment and care.

Changes in the patient’s status can greatly affect a provider’s preparedness for their home visit. With your current EHR, could staff quickly discover a change?

Consider common changes, such as:

  • A recent stay at the hospital or visit to an ER
  • A change in a patient’s prescribed compression level
  • A new antibiotic or other medication
  • A change in ordered dressings
  • An order for specialized wound care, such as a wound VAC system
  • A recent surgery
  • A recently applied graft

These are essential to know prior to a home visit—they can greatly affect the care the patient needs. All too often, though, these details are buried in a chart note, hidden in a scanned paper order, or missing entirely.

Providers need to have the correct equipment and dressings prior to getting to a patient’s house. Without this information, a provider can apply inappropriate therapies, which can hinder healing or harm the patient. Patients should not receive the wrong dressing, level of compression, or post-procedural care because of poor documentation.

A wound care software displays previous assessments and important changes front and center. Even if one facility has the wound care software and the other does not, both will benefit from the more complete and accurate assessment chart.

2.   Juggle multiple patients better.

A longitudinal study revealed that nurses only spend around 37% of their time involved in patient care. In home health, the burden of non-patient work, like travel and paperwork, is particularly high. There is simply no more room for tasks that take away time from patient care.

Documentation is time-consuming yet indispensable. A digital wound management tool can reduce the bottlenecks caused by a generic EHR.

Multiple patient charts can be managed at once. With a wound management tool, a nurse can organize her workload more efficiently. Shorter navigation cuts down on time in the chart.

Incomplete notes don’t need to be signed to be saved. Many EHRs require a provider to sign documentation before they can open another area of the chart, which is not conducive to time-sensitive home health care. However, this wound care software feature allows a provider to complete and sign notes later if needed.

3.   Speed and standardize wound measurements and assessments

Accurate wound measurements are critical for a good wound care assessment. However, wound measurements are frequently overestimated by up to 44%. A standard wound measurement can routinely portray that the wound is almost half a size larger than it actually is.

This has serious ramifications on the perceived status of the patient’s wound. This, in turn, affects changes in care plans. A patient may be progressing—or worsening—without the documentation accurately reflecting it.

With a digital wound care photography tool like WoundZoom, a practitioner needs only take a picture of the wound to get an accurate, standardized measurement. Opening the app and using the camera are all that’s needed to gather a photo and the wound’s length, width, and depth. All this data can be easily uploaded to the EHR.

This ties in with what might be the most valuable feature a digital tool can offer a home health agency…

4.   Easily capture, upload, and review images

In the home health setting, an isolated provider sees the wound during each visit. This creates unique challenges when care collaboration is needed.

Can a documented assessment be descriptive enough to accurately illustrate a wound’s presentation to another provider? Even if it could, a single wound can receive completely different assessment conclusions from different providers.

Wound photography eliminates this problem—and a digital wound management app makes the process easy.

  • The HIPAA-compliant app can be used on a personal or facility-provided device. The app requires secured login and the information is not cached in the device.
  • It’s as simple as opening up the camera feature. Open the app, then snap the photo. The image is loaded right onto the patient’s profile.
  • Review previous photos side-by-side. WoundZoom’s tool allows users to quickly browse and compare different images. No need to individually pull up images.
  • Avoid rulers and stickers. It isn’t just one less supply to have to bring to visits. Wound measurement via image capture is a faster, more accurate method.

Stand out among home health agencies with reliable wound care

In the last 5 years, home health has grown by 44%. Establishing yourself as a consistent, holistic agency has never been more important.

Professionals in the industry have some of the most constant eyes on a patient. The assessments and advocacy they provide can mean the difference between missed infections and important care updates.  Does your facility’s EHR give your staff the tools and usability they need to give excellent care?

WoundZoom was developed especially for professionals like those in the home healthcare setting. Interested in exploring what the digital wound management software can do for you? Contact us to request your free 30-minute demo. It’s the documentation tool your staff has been waiting for.

Meta Title: Digital Wound Care for Home Health

Meta Description: Capture wound photos, manage multiple patients, and standardize measurements with digital wound care software.