Role of Digital Photography in Wound Documentation

Photographs are an important component when it comes to effective wound assessment and management. Measuring the physical parameters of wounds on a regular basis is critical for a smooth wound healing process. Image documentation is now a part of an initial wound assessment and is used throughout the treatment program.

By monitoring closure of a wound over time through photography, it is possible to assess a large number of clinical factors in addition to wound size.

The use of photographs during wound care can:

  • facilitate diagnosis
  • help to identify non-healing and slow healing wounds
  • solve communication difficulties between practitioners
  • provide relevant details such as:
    • extent of necrotic tissue
    • degree of epithelialization
    • condition of the peri-wound area
    • viability of the wound edge
    • condition of the surrounding skin
  • provide evidence of the wound healing process and appropriate wound management

A standardized wound photography protocol will also help to assess the effectiveness of current treatment strategies, and adapt as appropriate.

Objective wound evaluation and documentation are integral, mainly in managing chronic wounds. Patients with such chronic wounds are often treated by a number of different practitioners in community and hospital settings. Wound clinics sending digital images of wounds via an EMR will make referral to a specialist much easier compared to patients carrying paper-based assessment records.

Wound-specific EMR Facilitates Adding Wound Photographs

Electronic records have been successfully used in chronic wound healing. WoundWizard® is a secure cloud-based EMR application that comes with the nurses’ and physician module to help clinics better manage wounds. With the ability to add wound photographs, this EMR software greatly enhances documentation, educational activities, and interest to the treatment note. Nurses can upload photographs into the EMR system to show the progress of treatment to doctors, thus improving the quality of treatment. The EMR’s 3D wound models can easily mark where the wound is located on your patient, allowing for accurate treatment and diagnosis of multiple wound sites. With such an advanced EMR solution, images are also stored in a secure way that guarantees patient confidentiality.