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Legal and Regulatory Issues in Wound Care: Avoid Wound Issues and Keep Yourself Out of Court

Heidi Huddleston Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON®
Full Day
Oct 18, 2016
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Seminar


Lawsuits related to wounds, and especially pressure ulcers, are increasingly common in both acute and long-term care settings, with judgments as high as $312 million in a single case. It can be terrifying to be notified that your facility has been sued, and even more so if you personally are named in a lawsuit. What can you and your facility do to protect yourselves? What do you need to know to ensure that you are meeting standards related to wound care? What assessments and documentations are necessary to stay out of court? What regulations and statutes do you need to be aware of? What measures can you take to make certain that you have the most legally-defensible wound care program?

Wound care gone badly is one of the most prevalent themes in healthcare today, in addition to being very costly. This course will provide many of the answers to help keep patients from suing, keep lawyers and regulatory bodies at bay, and hopefully keep you and your facility out of court.



* Credit Note - ****

Save time and money off other submission methods – purchase & take the CE test online for $29.99. Additional processing fees apply for other submission methods (i.e. mail, fax, etc.). Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details.  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before completion.

Certificates of Successful Completion are available for email, download and/or printing from your online account immediately following the successful completion of the post-test/evaluation.

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.  For Planning Committee disclosures, please statement above.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

Nurses - California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of  Registered Nursing, Provider #: 17118 for 6.0 self-study contact hours. 

** You will need to provide your license number to PESI. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Nurses - Florida Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Florida Board of  Nursing. Provider #: FBN2858. These materials qualify for 6.0 self-study contact hours.

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Nurses - Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Nurses successfully completing these self-study materials will earn 7.6 self-study contact hours. Please email with your license number, include the title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Physical Therapists - California Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approval agency to approve providers. This self-study lecture qualifies for 6.25 continuing competency hours.

Physical Therapists - Texas Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants

This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #2106032TX and meets continuing competence requirements for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant licensure renewal in Texas. This activity will provide 6.25 CCUs. The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance.

Physical Therapists - Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants

This self-study course consists of 6.25 clock hours of instruction that is applicable for physical therapists. CE requirements for physical therapists vary by state/jurisdiction. Please retain the certificate of completion that you receive and use as proof of completion when required.

Physical Therapists - Illinois Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants

PESI, Inc. is a Registered Physical Therapy Continuing Education Sponsor through the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation. License #: 216.000270. This self-study course qualifies for 6.0 CE credit hours.

Physical Therapists - New York Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department, State Board for Physical Therapy as an approved provider for physical therapy and physical therapy assistant continuing education. This self-study course qualifies for 7.6 contact hours.

Other Professions

This self-study activity qualifies for 6.25 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



Heidi Huddleston Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON®'s Profile

Heidi Huddleston Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON® Related seminars and products

Heidi Huddleston Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON®, is a board-certified Wound and Ostomy Nurse and a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She has extensive experience caring for wound and ostomy patients in acute care and long-term care. Currently, Heidi is employed by a surgical group providing consultation for nursing homes and has her own independent practice as an expert witness for plaintiff and defense attorneys. She has contributed in numerous ways to her specialty, including serving as chair of the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board examination committee, co-chair of the Wound and Ostomy Nurses Society National Conference Planning Committee ostomy track, and peer review for the Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing (JWOCN).


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Heidi Cross has an employment relationship with CNY Surgical Physicians. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Heidi Cross is a member of the Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society, the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care, the American Nurses Association, and the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  • Basics of the U.S. legal system
  • Why do people sue?
  • Chronic wounds (especially pressure ulcers) – why are they such a hot topic?
  • Negligence
  • Definition of adverse events
  • Standards of Care – where do we find them?
  • The economic, professional, and personal impacts of litigation

Regulatory Issues and How They Affect Your Wound Care Practice

  • Federal statutes and regulations
  • Hospital Acquired Conditions and Never Events – can we really always avoid them?
  • Those dreaded Department of Health and Joint Commission surveys
  • Code of Federal Regulations – Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities
  • State Practice Acts and practicing within your scope

Assessment Essentials

  • Risk assessment
  • Patient assessment
  • Wound assessment
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Mobility assessment

Legally Defensible Documentation

  • What MUST be in the record to effectively defend yourself and your institution
  • The 5 Cs of effective documentation
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Electronic Health Records: a boon or a bust when it comes to wound documentation?

Communication Essentials

  • With the patient
  • With the family
  • With the physician
  • Multidisciplinary involvement and communication

Sticky Situations in Wound Care: Helpful Hints to Minimize Your Legal Risk

  • Pain management - Avoiding a “Pain and suffering” allegation
  • Nutritional allegations - Delay or failure to provide appropriate nutritional interventions
  • Policies and procedures – can make or break your defense
  • Staffing levels and competency
  • Wound photography – pro’s and con’s and guidelines
  • Malpractice insurance – is it necessary for nurses?

Issues with Select Types of Wounds

  • Pressure ulcers – avoidable versus unavoidable
  • Arterial ulcers
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Know the etiology: dangers in failing to correctly diagnose and treat

You Make The Call

  • Case studies and scenarios




  • Explain the U.S. legal system and the current wound litigation environment.
  • Describe regulatory and legal principles of wound care.
  • Examine the essentials of wound assessments and legally-defensible documentation.
  • Analyze necessary communications to avoid wound issues and keep yourself out of court.
  • Describe how to establish a wound program that is legally defensible.
  • Evaluate high-risk wound care situations that are prone to litigation.

Target Audience

Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators, Physical Therapists/Physical Therapist Assistants, Physician Assistants and other Healthcare Professionals


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