Many Amedisys care centers offer wound care at home for eligible patients. You’ll work with a team of skilled professionals to receive home health wound care, along with other services ordered by your doctor. Our wound care specialists use evidence-based treatments and tools to help reduce complications, support healing and keep you safe at home.
WHAT IS HOME HEALTH WOUND CARE?
Home health wound care is treatment for chronic and complex wounds in the comfort of home, for patients who meet home health eligibility criteria. This type of care is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance plans for eligible patients.
A team of nurses, social workers, home health aides, and physical, occupational and speech therapists helps address wounds as well as underlying disease processes that can cause wounds. Home health services are provided in your home, whether that’s a house, an apartment, a relative’s home or a senior living community.
WOUND CARE SERVICES AT HOME
We’re experienced in treating a variety of wounds, including:
- Surgical wounds
- Pressure ulcers/sores
- Diabetic wounds/neuropathic wounds
- Venous stasis ulcers
- Arterial ulcers
- Non-healing wounds (wounds that won’t heal)
- Slow-healing wounds
We have teams of professionals who work together to meet each patient’s wound care needs. Ongoing communication and collaboration between these team members and your physician provide the best opportunity for wound healing.
Depending on your needs and plan of care, our at home wound care services may include:
- Develops an individualized wound care plan
- Assesses for signs and symptoms of infection
- Completes dressing changes
- Educates patients and caregivers on wound healing, signs of infection, how to prevent complications and when to ask for help
- Provides suture/staple removal and incisional care
- Assesses nutrition and hydration
- Reviews medications
- Assesses for prevention/treatment support surfaces
- Provides compression therapy and negative pressure wound therapy (pulling the air out of a closed dressing to improve blood flow and remove excess fluid)
- Completes debridement (removing dead skin and tissue to help wounds heal)
- Addresses underlying issues that may affect wound healing
- Assesses for recent pneumonia, weight loss and dehydration
- Assesses cognition and swallowing to help ensure the wound is receiving the nutrients needed to heal
- Identifies potential issues impacting wound healing and nutrition
- Counsels patients on safe foods and drinks that promote healing
- Teaches feeding and positioning techniques to improve nutrition
- Provides nutritional consult to assist with wound healing, if needed
- Helps with patient positioning, mobility and transfers
- Manages wound contractures
- Teaches strength training exercises
- Addresses orthotic/prosthetic needs
- Conducts skin assessments
- Educates caregivers on pressure relief schedules
- Recommends oﬄoading techniques to minimize the weight placed on an area of the body to prevent and heal ulcers
- Recommends appropriate assistive devices
- Adapts self-care activities to maintain skin integrity
- Teaches self-feeding skills
Medical Social Worker
- Helps patients follow the prescribed wound care plan
- Assists with financial challenges that impact your health
- Refers patients to community resources (e.g., to help with meals or transportation to appointments)
Home Health Aide
- Notifies your healthcare team of early warning signs of wounds and infections
WHY CHOOSE AMEDISYS FOR WOUND CARE AT HOME?
Every day, our nationwide network of home health agencies cares for more than 15,000 patients with wounds that require ongoing management. Here are a few reasons patients choose us for wound care at home:
We take a holistic approach to wound care home health that addresses nutrition, health conditions and other factors. We work with your healthcare team to develop an individualized wound care plan, preventing future wounds and improving outcomes.
Our clinicians follow clinical best practices. They complete training to stay up to date on treatment trends and continually improve their clinical skills. We use effective, evidence-based wound and ostomy products. Our clinicians are trained on how to use advanced wound care products to get the best results for our patients.
Wound Specialist Oversight
For complex wound care and chronic wound care, our clinicians consult with internal regional directors who are experienced wound care nurses with advanced credentialing.
Our clinicians use standardized assessment and documentation tools and digital photography to track wound healing. To improve outcomes and reduce avoidable hospitalizations, we draw on the latest technology, including:
- An analytics dashboard to proactively monitor our wound patients and identify those who need more help
- Evidence-based algorithms for wound, skin and ostomy care that support early intervention and troubleshooting
Smooth Care Transitions
Patients moving home from an inpatient facility receive coordinated care to help ensure the transition home is a smooth one. We communicate with your healthcare providers to prevent gaps in care and help ensure your needs are met.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM WOUND CARE HOME HEALTH?
Chronic wounds affect about 6.5 million Americans. Patients with diabetes, circulation disorders, limited mobility, recent surgeries, venous insufficiency, dialysis or other conditions may be at higher risk for wounds that won’t heal. Several issues can complicate wound healing, such as immobility, poor nutrition, smoking and excessive alcohol use.
Wound care home health can help support your healing and improve your quality of life. You may need wound care services at home if you have:
- Non-healing wounds (those that haven’t started healing in two weeks or haven’t finished healing in six weeks)
- Complex treatment orders
- New Stage III and IV pressure ulcers
- A need for preventative skin measures such as an appropriate support surface or moisture management
- Underlying conditions that complicate wound care, such as diabetes or heart disease
Sandra is going home after surgery. Due to an underlying condition, her surgical wound shows signs that she isn’t getting the nutrients she needs to heal.
Tom has a neuropathic diabetic ulcer. He is having difficulty using his new blood glucose monitoring device and reaching his wound.
Linda’s recent fall resulted in a trauma wound. Her family caregiver doesn’t feel comfortable changing her dressings.
Jerry, a negative pressure wound therapy patient, calls his doctor frequently with questions about his machine.
Patty is wheelchair-bound after suffering a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed and put her at risk of developing a pressure ulcer.
Patients must meet eligibility criteria to qualify for at home wound care services and other types of home health care. The requirements include:
- You need skilled care such as nursing or therapy; and
- You’re under the care of a physician who has created a home health plan of care for you; and
- It’s difficult for you to leave home without assistance (for example, from another person or a device like a walker or wheelchair) or have a condition that makes leaving home medically unsafe.
WOUND CARE PLAN GOALS
Every patient receives a care plan tailored to their goals and needs. Some common wound care plan goals are:
- Faster healing times
- Better outcomes
- Lower infection rates
- Decreased pain
- Preventing new wounds or complications
- Better mobility
- Empowering you and your caregiver to care for your wound on your own
- Avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM WOUND CARE HOME VISITS
Our wound care nurses complete a comprehensive assessment at each wound care home visit. These assessments are shared with your physician and may include:
- Examining and measuring your wound (location, size, stage, depth, appearance and other factors)
- Checking blood flow around the wound
- Looking for signs and symptoms of infection
- Understanding why your wound isn’t healing (including reviewing risk factors that may impact wound healing, such as health conditions, medications, weight, mobility, mental health issues and nutrition)
Personalized Care Plan
Working closely with your physician, our home health wound care nurses will make a plan to treat the wound.
Wound Home Care Visits
Depending on your doctor’s order, different members of the home health team will visit you at home. Your wound care nurse will assess, clean, treat and dress your wound, as needed. We’ll update your doctor on your progress and consult with them about any changes to your wound care plan.
Our goal is to teach you how to care for your wound and prevent wounds and/or complications going forward. You’ll receive instructions on caring for your wound at home. We’ll also offer guidance on changes you can make to promote wound healing, such as dietary changes, physical activity and quitting smoking.
HOW TO FIND A WOUND CARE SPECIALIST
Wounds can severely impact your health and quality of life. It’s important to choose a wound care specialist with the appropriate knowledge, training and resources to meet your needs. Here are a few ways to find a high-quality wound care company:
Talk to Your Doctor
If you need wound care at home, ask your doctor if you qualify for home health. If you meet the criteria, your doctor can write an order and provide a referral to a home health agency. You have the right to choose any home health provider you prefer.
Check Quality Scores
Choosing a high-quality home health provider can help ensure you receive the best possible care. You can check quality scores of home health companies on Medicare’s Care Compare website.
95% of Amedisys home health care centers are rated 4+ quality stars.
Most wound care companies will be happy to answer questions to ensure you’re getting the right care for your needs. Some of the questions that may be important include:
- Will the home health agency work with your schedule?
- Do they address the wound as well as underlying causes and health conditions?
- Is your care overseen by wound care experts?
At Amedisys, we provide home health wound care, along with other home health services, in various locations nationwide. Our team works with you, your caregivers and your healthcare providers to minimize pain and help you heal. To learn more, complete the form below or call an Amedisys home health agency near you or ask your doctor if you qualify for wound care at home.