The last few years have brought monumental changes to the post-acute care sector with even newer regulations in 2020, like PDGM, that are impacting revenue and operational processes. This new payment model is motivating providers to enhance current services and even expand scope of practice in many ways one of them being wound care. Agencies are motivated to be more efficient in care, look at the patients holistically and look to overcome barriers of healing such as nutrition and socioeconomic issues.
To learn more about how providers are driving new thinking around skin health under the new payment model, The Medline Newsroom spoke with Medline’s Director of Clinical Services for Post-Acute Care Skin Health Crystal Luna-Anderson. Anderson has more than 10 years of experience as a Certified Wound, Ostomy Nurse, and recently co-authored Pressure Injuries in the Pediatric Population: A National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel White Paper.
Newsroom: Medline works with healthcare providers across the country. What are you hearing right now about skin health and opportunities to drive effective outcomes?
Crystal Luna-Anderson: There is a big opportunity to improve standardization of care. In healthcare, this word often means different things to stakeholders. Sometimes providers look at it as being controlled, but I look at it as a way to enhance efficiency and reduce variation. Efficiency under changing regulations is key and standardization will help drive effective patient results. There are many products available on the market, but we need to make sure nurses really know how to use the products to ensure they are being effective in caring for their patients.
NR: What are some ways you are seeing healthcare providers enhance clinical knowledge?
CLA: Providing care is hard work and with more than 4 million patients receiving home health services, it often feels like there is no time to take away from the tunnel vision you have on patients. However, empowerment, and taking time to ask questions to help make nurses feel more secure in their practice, is a powerful tool. We are seeing more customers invest in hands-on, in-person education to drive both empowerment and standardization of care.
Medline has been working with Illinois and Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health for the past year to create in-person training for more than 400 nurses based on real life patient scenarios nurses face daily. Additionally, LHC Group, the country’s third largest home health agency, recently sent 50 nurses to Medline for a skin health boot camp. The two-day interactive meeting offered multiple experts that spoke to not only how to care for specific wounds, but helped them think critically so they can pass that knowledge on to other nurses in their market. Teams also covered the topic of efficiency and how to be aware of and manage potential care barriers, like language and socioeconomic factors.
NR: What are the benefits of looking at the whole patient when it comes to driving successful care results?
CLA: The new regulations are relying more heavily on clinical characteristics and other patient information to help deliver care that is more meaningful. Thinking outside the box is key. There is no longer the option of providing care the same way we did five, ten years ago. As clinicians, sometimes we tend to look at wound care patients as just that, wound care patients. To be successful in this new era of regulations, we need to take a holistic approach and really look at the patient as a whole. What does their nutrition history look like and what role is that playing in their healing? How are we offloading and repositioning patients to avoid pressure injuries? How are you collaborating with their physician or rehab therapists?
Learn more about how Medline is working with skin health teams to standardize best practices.