To determine if improved communication between certified wound care nurses and home health nurses, through use of standardized electronic wound care order sets and discharge instructions, decreased delay in treatment and 30-day readmission rates and improved wound healing for patients discharged to home with pressure injuries.
Quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group trial.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
Cognitively intact adult patients hospitalized in the Midwestern United States with a stage 2 or higher pressure injury discharged to home care services.
We revised the electronic medical record to include an adapted, standardized version of the Project Re-Engineered Discharge wound care order set that included specific wound care instructions for use following discharge to home care. Medical records of 12 patients were reviewed prior to the change and 9 records were reviewed postchange for information about initiation of care, wound healing, and 30-day readmission. The Pressure Ulcer Scale of Healing tool was used to evaluate wound healing.
Time to initiation of treatment was 2.4 days for the control group and 1.6 days for the intervention group. Missing documentation made it difficult to evaluate the control group, as 73% of all wound measurements were missing from the electronic medical record. Use of the standardized wound care order set resulted in 100% of wound care orders and 92% of discharge instructions being present in the intervention group's electronic medical record at the time of hospital discharge. There was no statistically significant difference between control and intervention group's Pressure Ulcer Scale of Healing scores for any postdischarge measurement or in 30-day readmission rates.
The new standardized wound care order sets at the time of discharge did increase adherence to time to implementation and documentation of executing wound care orders by home care nurses. Further research of standardized order sets is needed to determine the impact on improving patient outcomes.