Wound care cases can be won, attorney emphasizes

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Timothy McVey
Timothy McVey
Document, document, document: That's the key to avoiding costly wound care mishaps in a nursing facility, an attorney told McKnight's Online Expo participants Thursday.

Wound care cases can easily cost a facility $250,000, said D. Timothy McVey of McVey & Parsky LLC. They can go on for years, and multiple wound care cases can make it hard to get insurance, he said.

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, he said.

“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.” 

However, whether it involves an electronic or paper-based system, or photos of the wound, employees must be trained to provide accurate documentation, he said. “Just putting [a system] into place doesn't make it work,” he warned. 

The best way to stay out of a court, he emphasized, is to have an aggressive approach to helping residents get better.  “If a wound develops, someone really has to get on the wound,” McVey said. “Put a SWAT team on it. Once it heals, they don't have much of a case.”

Individuals can listen to and watch an archived version of the McVey presentation by clicking here, filling out the no-cost registration and attendance form, and following the prompts.