Many years ago, I started a long journey working in wound care, at that time an unknown specialty. I have learned a tremendous amount about this business during my career, which has spanned various sides of the wound management spectrum. I have seen companies merge and come and go, as the wound healing industry has expanded and exploded over the last couple of decades. The following are three important lessons that I have found to be valuable in my career in wound care.
1. Great wound care products take time to build.
I stumbled into wound care while working for a company that was well known for its instrument decontamination solutions and hospital grade hand soap. We were all having lunch at a national sales meeting when, all of a sudden, pictures of wounds appeared on the screen. The company had been doing research and saw the exponential need for advanced wound care as our boomer population aged. They decided to enter the advanced wound care market with a few moist wound-healing products. This was quite a while ago so our main competition was wet to dry gauze, Dakin’s solution or betadine. How could our new moist wound healing products do anything but wildly succeed when we were only going to be selling against such antiquated and cytotoxic modalities? We found it was an uphill battle educating physicians and nurses who had been schooled in Dakins, betadyne and wet to dry dressings. It took many years but the tide finally turned and today, because of this education, I think we can safely say that most wound care practitioners out there know that the old way is not the best way. Out of this knowledge a multi-billion dollar industry was born and wounds that would have previously resulted in amputation or death are healing on a daily basis.
2. You need amazing clinicians on your team.
Back then our sales and marketing team put boots on the ground to educate clinicians. We were trained by some of the best practitioners in the field at that time and went out to educate physicians and nurses on this new concept of moist wound healing. Little did I know, I would later become enamored with the business of advanced wound care. I learned that chronic wound care patients not only have wounds to deal with, but these wounds also create serious challenges in their day-to-day living. It is a great feeling to know and witness these patients heal and return to a much better quality of life because of the clinicians I have worked with and their commitment to healing these people’s wounds. I think back about the many patients I have been able to meet over the years that have gotten their lives back because of their clinician’s passion for wound healing. This is why I am still in the wound care field many years later.
3. Patient care is everything.
This past year I joined Wound Care Advantage, which specializes in providing the best tools for hospitals to assist them in running their wound centers efficiently and successfully. I agreed to join WCA because I was impressed that, despite the pressures of keeping this type of business afloat, patient care is number one. I have worked on the other side with wound center management companies that seem to only focus on the bottom line and seem to forget about the patient. The hard working employees and partners of WCA understand that if you focus on doing the right thing for your patients, your business will survive and grow.
The wound care industry continues to change and evolve. Currently our team at Wound Care Advantage is working on some exciting options for hospitals starting in 2015. To find out how WCA can help improve your hospital’s wound center’s revenue cycle, contact me at www.thewca.com/contact