Proper evaluation and documentation of skin-related wounds is crucial in the development of a comprehensive treatment plan. However, even with detailed written descriptors (i.e. color, tissue condition, and dimensions) a visual image can provide a more complete representation of the current state of the wound. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) recommends using digital photography to more accurately capture wound dimensions as well as track wound progression over time. However, even the best photograph of a wound becomes inefficient if there isn’t a timely way to integrate the images into the patient’s medical record.
Digital cameras are the common form of media for wound photography, but the process to upload and attach the images to a patient’s medical record is often tedious and time-consuming, requiring the nurse to download the pictures from the camera, index the proper image to the proper patient, and then upload them to the patient’s EMR. Recent advances in mobile EMR applications have significantly reduced the time between photographing the wound and uploading the images to a patient’s EMR. This presentation describes an initiative to improve efficiency and streamline the workflow required to attach images to the EMR using available technology.
Tactics implemented by the presenting organization to enhance wound care include the use of a mobile EMR with a built-in camera to photograph the wound. Post-capture, the clinical nurse or wound care specialist can simultaneously review both the EMR flowsheet data and uploaded image to assess the wound quickly, therefore facilitating an accurate diagnosis and developing an expeditious treatment plan. Additionally, an integrated mobile EMR also allows for an image viewer to show multiple images of the same wound over various points in time without the need to open each image separately, thus eliminating non-value-added work for the clinician.
Qualitative staff evidence reports improved documentation processes and a reduction in the amount of time spent indexing images. Information gained during this presentation can be incorporated in the inpatient or ambulatory care setting, allowing clinicians to work with real-time information which may enhance communication amongst the care team by allowing the utilization of remote consultations between facilities and practitioners providing a comprehensive, systematic, and standardized approach to wound care management.