Wound Care

Bedsores, the common term for decubiti, or what now are more commonly called pressure ulcers, have met their match at the Jewish Home.

This is a special announcement:

The Jewish Home is the first and so far, the only skilled nursing facility in Pennsylvania to receive the VOHRA Award for Wound Care Center of Excellence!  The Home is honored for the quality of its Wound Care program – quality as measured and published by Medicare on the Medicare website.  Medicare compares the percentage of pressure ulcers in long-term and short-stay residents in skilled nursing facilities to State and national percentages, and in both categories, the Jewish Home comes out significantly ahead!

VOHRA is a group of wound care physicians specializing in the management of pressure ulcers.  VOHRA serves more than 2500 long term care facilities in 27 states.  Wound management has emerged as a new specialty along with rising expectations for quality and outcomes expectations. In fact, wound management and outcomes have become a leading indicator of the quality of care in a skilled nursing facility.

As of September, 2016, our statistics remain far superior to statistics provided to Medicare by other Pennsylvania Skilled Nursing Facilities.

The Jewish Home is one of the very few skilled nursing facilities that has on staff both a Wound Care nurse and a physician certified in Wound Care. These professionals provide early detection and effective treatment of pressure sores, and they also instruct staff on preventing and managing bedsores.

PA100046Wound Care physician Dr. Aaron Blom is a general surgeon who is Board-certified as a Wound Care specialist physician. Dr. Blom, who has spent virtually his entire career — from undergraduate through medical school and post-graduate study in Philadelphia — performs medical and minor surgical management of pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers can develop quickly, and often present a challenge to heal. Because of our careful assessment protocols, very few pressure ulcers develop on residents living at the Home. We do see some incipient or developed pressure ulcers in residents coming from other facilities.

Dr. Blom and Carolyn Geedy, RN, our Certified Wound Care nurse, assess all suspected or potential pressure ulcers and decide how to manage them. They may instruct staff to reposition on a rigid schedule any residents whose skin shows even the slightest suspicious reddening. Sometimes they will ask nursing staff to use special mattresses and other supports to keep suspect areas free from pressure. They may use special skin barrier creams to help delicate skin from getting wet and breaking down. And if infection is present, Dr. Blom can perform minor surgery right at the resident’s bedside to remove the necrotic tissue that is a component of a pressure ulcer; he may prescribe antibiotics to treat infection, if any is present. Or, he may apply chemical enzymes and special dressings to assist dead tissue to break down and assist healthy tissue to grow.

Ms. Geedy makes daily rounds on residents, evaluating the effectiveness of treatments and working with Nursing staff to increase the awareness of potential skin issues and managing them before skin breakdown occurs.

Our Wound Team’s work may also include evaluating  at-risk residents for nutritional status, because poor health or poor nutrition may predispose to pressure ulcers. If they decide poor nutrition exists, they will work with the dietitian to increase  residents’ protein and/or general caloric intake.

Together, the Jewish Home Wound Care team works to prevent or manage pressure ulcers, the age-old scourge of the bedridden elderly and a problem that for many centuries has endangered the elderly and the infirm, and has confounded those who care for them.