Wound Care Articles and Insights

Wound Care Program -Definition

Wound Care Program -Definition

I often find myself explaining my business to people when asked what I do. Womb Care? Barriatric Chambers? Do you treat gunshots and stab wounds? I have come up with some pretty quick responses since I have heard them so often. Last week, a CEO of a hospital I was speaking with asked me to explain what a wound center was, and I realized that though wound care progams have grown at unprecedented rates in our hospitals, there is still alot of people not certain about what they are. So, this is my attempt to explain what WCA considers to be a Wound Care Program:

  • A Wound Care Program is an Outpatient facility operated under a hospital’s provider number
  • The wound center’s focus is hard-to-heal, complicated, or chronic wounds
  • The main goal of a center is to prevent amputations and further wound complications by healing the wound to 100% quickly
  • Over 55% of patients receiving an amputation will die within five years! Heal a Wound, Save a Life.
  • Wound Centers treat a great need. More people develop wounds than have strokes or heart attacks combined!
  • It is a multidisciplinary physician led program often with more than two physicians seeing patients
  • The program bills for a facility fee, while the physician bills for their professional fee
  • The wound care team is made up of wound care trained nurses, technicians, and a clerical team
  • The center is comprehensive, providing access to Hyperbaric Oxygen (2 chambers), biologics, and the latest advances in care
  • The program is usually open 5 days a week
  • Patients most often come from referrals (Family practice is the most common referral source at 58%) or can self refer
  • About 2% of your local core population will develop non-healing wounds annually
  • Patients are seen on the average of once a week
  • Aggressive debridement is one of the most effective tools
  • Patients should heal on the average in less than 6 weeks with a healing rate (how many heal 100%) in the high 90% range
  • Patient satisfaction should be in the high 90% range
  • About 15% or less of your patient population will qualify for ancillary therapies such as Hyperbarics or biologic products
  • Ancillary testing and procedures should be conducted through the hospital when possible (spin-off revenue)
  • The program should break even for a hospital within the first 12 months (WCA averages 6-8 months)
  • The center should see a margin for the hospital within the 30-45% range annually.
  • The program should use an Electronic Medical Record that meets Meaningful Use requirements
  • The program should track all core measures including healing rates, operations, and financials for the hospital stakeholders
  • The center is usually best in a Medical Office Building rather than a hospital, especially in CA, yet there are benefits both ways
  • The center should save money for the hospital by reducing LOS and readmissions
  • The program should save money for patients by lowering the amount of time it takes to heal and limiting complications
  • The center should run itself with the help of a good management team like WCA (I am allowed one shameless plug!)
  • The center should never be a headache to the administration

This is about everything that comes to mind, however, as I am sure you would guess there is a great deal more to a successful center. Feel free to call me anytime if you would like to know more about wound care programs or hyperbaric oxygen. 888-4-THE-WCA.