Wound care cases can easily cost a facility $250,000 in legal fees, according to expert attorney D. Timothy McVey of McVey & Parsky LLC. Legal cases can go on for years and multiple wound care cases can also make it hard to get insurance. Detailed and precise documentation is the key to avoiding costly wound care mishaps, McVey explained during the McKnight’s Long-Term Care Online Expo session.
In addition to assessing whether a resident is coming into a facility with a wound, there needs to be regular documentation that not only includes resident compliance but also details on the type of wound, including whether it’s diabetic, vascular or pressure. Proper measurements must be taken, and experts need to be advising direct care staff on treatment. Documenting every step to prevent and treat any wound can keep facilities protected from any claims of liability in court.
“Wound cases can be won. Good intake documentation, in many cases, is the key,” McVey said. “The use of technology is another way of defending wound cases.”
Whether it’s an electronic or paper-based system, regular photos of the wound must be taken and employees must be trained to provide accurate and detailed documentation, he said. “Just putting [a system] into place doesn’t make it work.”
An aggressive routine of treatment along with documentation must be put into place in order to prevent legal action. “Put a SWAT team on [the wound],” McVey said. “Once it heals, they don’t have much of a case.”
For information on implementing a wound care documentation program to prevent and treat wounds, visit woundrounds.com