EHRs show promise for palliative ulcers

Electronic health records may help palliative care providers better manage pressure ulcers within their facility, according to a new review in Wounds UK.

The review analyzed the use of an electronic patient assessment system called SKKIN, which allows hospice staff to send patient data on sections including skin, incontinence and mobility, along with digital photographs of the patients' wounds, to a wound care expert. The expert than creates a care plan specially tailored for end-of-life patients with pressure ulcers, typically within 24 hours of receiving the data.

Patients who received care that incorporated the SKKIN care plan had generally good outcomes, and some improvement in pressure ulcers. 

Hospice staff also gave positive feedback on the system.

“The application enables the hospice team to deliver safe and effective, evidence-based care, leading to positive patient experiences at the end of life,” wrote author Linda Rafter, professor of nursing at De Montfort University.

Rafter suggests electronic systems also might benefit hospice patients in nursing home settings, and could be used to prevent pressure ulcers in residents.