If you missed the live webinar, you can now watch Swift and Axxess’s “Empowering Nurses to Achieve a Successful Wound Care Program” Webinar. Building off the Blueprint Building Effective Wound Care, the webinar addresses the ever-changing home health industry and how a well-supported team and the right technology drive a successful wound program. Bianca Salazar, Director of Nursing at Americare San Antonio, joined the experienced panel to provide a first hand account of how she engages and strengthens her team through the use of Swift technology.
From the implementation of PDGM to COVID-19, home health agencies have been shifting their strategies to focus on higher acuity care patients to compete in the competitive industry.
Amy Cassata, RN WCC and VP of Clinical Services at Swift, recognizes the importance of building a wound care program that is profitable and sustainable. Before you can grow your wound program, there are four key building blocks: process & people, visibility, efficiency, and growth. Agencies have to leverage the skills and talent of their nursing staff and the access they have to wound care experts. It’s important to have standardized, evidence-based processes to ensure standardized treatment and documentation.
There are so many organizations out there with practices and protocols that can be adapted to best suit the needs of your agency. As wound care continues to change, so should the education and training of staff. Wound care can be complex and is best dealt with using an interdisciplinary approach.
The Importance of Confidence
Finding the right staff for the job isn’t always easy. In home health, staff really need to be engaged and confident entering patient’s homes. Bianca found that some staff were initially resistant to the use of technology in wound care as they were accustomed to paper ruler measurements. However, she recognises that “technology is here to stay… comparing wounds to quarters just isn’t going to work anymore”. She’s found that using Swift has made it easier and improved her team’s confidence in the measurements they collect.
As wound care isn’t the speciality of many nurses, instilling confidence in treating wounds is aided by a standardized process. When these nurses are without support in a patient’s home, proper education and technology boosts confidence and increases comfort in treatment.
“Swift alone has made nurses very confident giving them the answers that they feel are necessary to be able to treat the wound correctly”
Technology is Key
Technology is now a fundamental part of healthcare, it’s difficult to adapt and grow in the industry without it. There are a wide range of applications for technology as well, and business success depends on it. From connecting field staff to administrators to tracking clinical practices and capturing critical information, technology offers the opportunity for consistent care. It offers significant advantages for improved care, and can collect concrete data to build trust for institutional referrals. Not only is selecting the right technology important, but it requires having the right training and staff on your team to best utilize it. It captures your wound population in real time, so you know how to best provide care.
“Making sure the staff is comfortable and confident with wound care when a RN is not around to assist them is definitely the biggest challenge. [Swift] makes it a lot easier for a nurse to feel confident with what they’re presenting.”
With staffing challenges, PPE shortages and reduced caseloads, technology can ease some of the pandemic stresses. Given restrictions on sending multiple clinicians onsite, technology can boost confidence in connecting clinicians with support or a second opinion. With fewer supervisory visits, clinicians rely on the clarity of pictures. The ability to connect allows nurses to be more self-sufficient and confident in the wound care they provide. Whether it’s a physical therapist or LPN, with the right tools you can engage the whole team to help monitor and deliver well-rounded care.
Technology can engage both staff and patients, encouraging them to get invested in their own care. Being able to assess wound progress and visually track progression and regression is eye-opening for patients. Bianca shared the story of how Swift technology captivated one of her patients.