Liability in the nursing home is not new. Across America the most popular areas of liability involve medication errors, falls and the development and accusations of wounds being ignored.
Most nursing homes have ongoing relationships with primary care physicians who help to maintain the medical stability of patients. This has even greater significance as a result of certain provisions of the current Affordable Care Act. Portions of the Act hold nursing homes responsible for certain standards associated with avoiding hospital ad-admissions.
Primary care physicians have their role and it is an important one. However, the physician with the credentials and experience to help prevent and manage wounds regardless of their severity is a professional affiliation a nursing home cannot do without. Pressure wounds - in and of themselves - are a specialty area of care.
As wounds develop, a team effort is required to ensure consistency of care and real clinical competence in helping this patient to move past this serious malady. Without such an approach the resulting infection and tissue damage can be catastrophic!
A combination of disciplines from personnel in nutrition, primary medical care, activity coordinators, primary care physicians and nurse aides must all be involved, utilizing the leadership of the wound care treatment team. Nursing home administrators should insist on the kind of affiliations that can truly make a difference.
Yes wounds are serous and equally serious is the reality that it takes a village to keep these situations from becoming out-of-control liabilities.
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