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Regulations in Wound Care

Treating and documenting wounds may not be as easy as it seems but the last thing a skilled nursing facility needs is to get an F-tag from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Getting an F-tag can cost an SNF its reputation because they’ll be required to display this in public locations, not to mention getting reported on federal websites and databases.

The good news is your reputation shouldn’t take a huge hit because there are ways to avoid these F-tags. All it takes is to follow several guidelines and implement a well-thought-out and solid wound care program.

Infection Prevention

Keeping various diseases from spreading is an effective way of avoiding F-tags. Making this happen is crucial especially in a healthcare facility where chronic illnesses are rampant.

As a health care worker, you can help prevent if not slow down the spread of diseases through simple actions like washing your hands, keeping your patients’ wounds covered, and regularly sanitizing supplies like linens and towels just to name a few.

Nurses also play a big part in preventing the spread of diseases by closely monitoring their patients and keeping their environment as sterile as possible.

Effective Planning

As with any large endeavor, nothing beats a carefully crafted plan. Implementing an effective care plan is another way of avoiding those F-tags. The question now is, what does an effective care plan look like?

It’s a given that an effective care plan follows a certain set of guidelines tailored to the patient’s needs. Apart from these guidelines, proper documentation of a patient’s treatment plan and progress is also essential.

End-of-life and advanced care planning are equally important because they allow patients to communicate what they want to happen should they become incapacitated.

Enforcing Disciplinary Measures

A pressure ulcer is one of the most common types of wounds you’ll find in a skilled nursing facility. Unlike other wounds, pressure ulcers are considered severe and require careful and proper care.

Also known as bedsores, pressure ulcers usually happen to immobile patients. Patients who have pressure ulcers undergo a tedious treatment process making it essential for health care professionals, doctors, and nurses to always be on top of their game.

Due to the frequency of pressure ulcers, regulatory agencies are quite strict when it comes to compliance. If skilled nursing facilities aren’t addressing these wounds the right way, the probability of getting F-tags is almost certain.

At SNF Wound Care, we train all our partnered nursing home treatment nurses regarding wound care documentation, staging, and treatment.

We have regular in-services on “How to document pressure injuries when a patient is admitted to the SNF”. We also make sure our treatment nurses have Wound Care Certification through WSOC.

Together, our documentation on wounds is consistent and optimal to help save the facility from fines.

Proper Documentation

Proper documentation is crucial if you want to avoid legal issues and sanctions. It has to be organized and must include even the most minute of details.

Information like wound protocol, calls to physicians, the actions you took (and didn’t take), and the patient’s progress are just some of the things air-tight documentation should contain.

Final Thoughts

While there’s no such thing as a perfect system, there are ways to improve a skilled nursing facility’s performance so you can avoid getting F-tags that can ruin one’s reputation. Doing the steps mentioned should help you minimize if not totally prevent sanctions that can be detrimental to the facility’s future.

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