Bringing the Wound Specialist to Rural Texas
Skilled nursing facilities use telemedicine to bring physicians specialized in wound care to remote patients in need
Wound healing is a developing science that is being led by the expert wound physicians of Vohra Wound Care. Skilled nursing facilities across the country are looking for innovative and clinically effective physicians to work at the bedside and improve wound care. In some cases, this means bringing the specialist to the bedside in a virtual manner through use of telemedicine technologies.
Advanced Rehabilitation and Healthcare of Vernon is a 120-bed skilled nursing facility in Vernon, Texas that has done just that. The facility is a two-hour round trip to the nearest hospital and 200 miles from any major center in Dallas. Nurse Alberta Walburg, the treatment nurse and now a Vohra Certified Wound Care Nurse was instrumental in bringing specialists to bedside to help with her wound patients. Ms. Walburg recently related an example of how the virtual access to care has benefited her residents. She told us that in the past access to experts was limited. The lack of access to a comprehensive wound management program and specialty physician led to poor outcomes. She recalled one patient who ended up having her leg amputated at the hospital over an hour away. This same patient was later cared for by Dr. Moscoso from Vohra and she was able to save the patient’s other leg from a wound-related amputation, using Telemedicine. This is just once case of how virtual access to Vohra’s specialized physicians and its comprehensive wound management approach delivered via Telemedicine can bridge a gap in care and achieve superior wound outcomes.
Beginning in 2016, Dr. Moscoso and the team at Advanced have conducted rounds together in a virtual manner using real-time video technology. They have focused on addressing and treating pressure and diabetic wounds. In the past patients had to be transported out of the facility to a clinic that had limited expertise or the patient had to be driven far away to the hospital emergency room. “Now patients get a regular, consistent and comprehensive treatment plan. It’s completed in real time, with full and complete documentation available immediately” said Nurse Walburg. “We have learned a lot from working with Dr. Moscoso and taking the Vohra online wound certification course, now a lot of times I think what Dr. Moscoso do… it is better for everyone”.
The telemedicine collaboration has helped Advanced build its internal expertise in treating wounds and reduce amputation and rehospitalization rates. Advanced Rehabilitation and Healthcare of Vernon has now been recognized as a Vohra Wound Care Center of Excellence, a designation only a small percentage of facilities earn. The nursing team has built their skills in parallel, three of the team are now wound care certified, having taken the online Vohra wound care certification course through scholarships for the course sponsored by the State of Texas with funds approved for this use by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Nurse Walburg and her colleagues take pride in the wound healing skills they have learned and appreciate the value that telemedicine and virtual access to a wound specialist brings to their facility.