Harmony Healthcare Blog

Wound Care in the Skilled Nursing Facility: The Latest “Buzz”

Posted by The Harmony Team on Fri, Jan 09, 2015


Edited by Kris Mastrangelo

wound_careThe world of wound care and clinically appropriate practices and documentation has been one area of health care that is ever evolving with the times. With heightened focus on the prevention, development and treatment of ulcers of any type, it is more important than ever that facilities remain aware of the latest acceptable practices and news. Several areas of focus in wound care have been reviewed and updated over the past year. 

Wound Care: What You Need to Know:

  • NPUAP:  The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel released the most recent Standards of Care in September of 2014. One of the biggest changes in these books, which are available to facilities, is the fact that the current standards are re-enforced with evidenced based studies and documentation. Facilities are strongly encouraged to acquire the Quick Reference Guide to assist in ensuring current facility practices are up to date. Another area in which the NPUAP has made significant changes is in the area of RN Competency Programs. Originally released in 2010, the program was updated in 2013 to include major competencies, content topics, content objectives, suggestions for teaching methods and a multitude of references. 

    The latest updates for both the general guidelines and RN Competencies can be found at: www.npuap.org.

  • Diabetes and Diet:  In October of 2013, the ADA released guidelines for the dietary management of diabetes. This article stresses that, when treating diabetes and diet management, it cannot be a “one size fits all” eating pattern. The article covers a variety of different eating patterns and styles and avoids the word diet. The current guidelines replace those published in 2008. Full guidelines and recommendations can be found at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/contents/early/2013/10/07/dc13-2042.full.pdf+html.

  • Quality Measures: Currently under review is the possibility of updating this quality measure to calculate the number based upon “Incidence Density”. Per the NPUAP, calculating the rate of pressure ulcer development is most accurate, especially when comparing different types of healthcare settings, when using incidence density calculations. This is calculated by dividing the number of patients who develop a new pressure ulcer by 1,000 patient days. Per the NPUAP, using this larger denominator allows for a more accurate comparison across all health care settings.

  • International Skin Tear Advisory Panel (ISTAP): The panel developed a tool kit for healthcare professionals with a focus on prevention, assessment, and treatment practices through an interdisciplinary approach.  

    The tool kit includes:
    • Skin Tear Risk Assessment Pathway
    • Skin Tear decision algorithm
    • Pathway to treatment and assessment of Skin Tears
    • ISTAP classification system
    • Quick reference guide for prevention and risk reduction
    • Medications that can affect skin
    • Product selection guide

      A free copy of this tool kit is available at: www.skintears.org/Resources/


If you need help with understanding or interpreting these wound care updates, please click here to contact Harmony Healthcare International or call us at (800) 530-4413. 


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Tags: wound care, Pressure Ulcer, NPUAP

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