A collaborative organization structure is beneficial toward improving quality and patient satisfaction for wound care billing services than a fragmented organizational structure. And as wound care involves inpatient, outpatient, technology, skilled nursing facilities, healthcare facilities and private practitioners, co-ordination is integral to achieving goals in wound healing. Less than 15% of organizations that deal in wound care have formal organizational structures. There is a need to work closely in collaboration and within a defined structure. Organizations which have standard delivery care models, increased communication and co-ordination, and intrinsic accountability tend to have improved performance in the outcome of patients in addition to lower costs of treatment.
Here’s how patients, healthcare staff and ÌT can benefit the entire wound care delivery:
Referred to as ‘patient engagement,’ it is the collaboration between patients and healthcare providers where patient takes some ownership of their health in terms of compliance with prevention, documentation, communication, and care plans leading to their satisfaction for improving healthcare delivery. If patients are well informed, be it through online sources or electronic health information, they can have access to managing diseases and with the help of the family, improve the outcome. Patients are motivated to get better soon as they are shown the progress of their wounds healing while describing the care plan. Once the patient and family are involved in their care plan, they can use medicines safely and timely, make informed choices/decisions, observe self-management, take preventive measures against infections, and report any issues when required. As patients spend lesser time in hospital, this also frees up the healthcare staff and they can focus on other aspects enhancing financial performance, are more productive and satisfied leading to a positive influence on retention.
After the physician, it is the WOC nurses who are aware of pressure injury prevention and cure, hence their presence also benefits in wound care outcomes. They ensure that documentation is apt, complete, and interventions occur in a timely manner. They keep a check on preventive and treatment measures, keep the physicians informed of any abrasions in patient’s wounds which require immediate attention, are overall empowered to control the system, and supervise the wound care formulary.
IT helps in storing, processing and exchanging data. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) must be used to aptly assist in wound care outcomes. Many a times, information in scattered in EMRs with columns on measurements, treatments and preventive care being provided, missing. Sometimes, revision columns which could describe wound changes go missing too. Hence, redesigned and reassembled EMRs are required where all the information is provided at one spot, and can be easily retrieved and deciphered for further treatment. Alerts must be set for physicians, nurses and other risk managers to inform them of alterations in wounds, and the next treatment plan must be entered in the designated EMR’s columns.
Physicians also need to understand that skin requires care, and pressure injuries too are vital to be dealt with as many wound dressings are considered as nurse interventions. Physicians must be involved toward pressure injury prevention and be knowledgeable about appropriate ‘decision making algorithms’ in diagnosis, analysis and treatment. Wound care has evolved from simple dressing/bandage to occlusive dressings and now to negative pressure wound therapy. Hence, appropriate wound care delivery must be now considered as advanced wound care practice while implementing wound care prevention, treatment via research, and best practices ultimately strengthening the healthcare system overall- for enhanced patient outcomes and healthcare facility’s financial growth. Wound care is complicated. A formalized structure must be created involving the physician and other key stakeholders to break down silos and to support integration in clinics and ultimately enhancing the wound care outcome.