As hospital wound centers shift away from management companies, one of the biggest benefits has been the opportunity to utilize resources and teams from programs across the continuum of hospital care.
Last month, I spoke with Medline Industries for an article discussing actionable strategies to take advantage of this trend by improving hospital wide communication and better utilizing wound center resources. The original article can be found here, but for now I want to go deeper into how wound centers everywhere can get started with these 3 steps:
Position the wound center as the central hub for all things skin and wound… Once hospitals cast off restrictive management organizations from the outpatient center, they can begin unifying the inpatient and outpatient wound care team. This allows you to solidify the wound center as a central hub for patient care and position it at the center of the provider/patient relationship.
- How do you make this a reality at your facility? Remove the designation between inpatient and outpatient to form a united wound care team that’s responsible for both. This creates nursing staff and providers able to float between both worlds, assisting the inpatient program with referrals or high-risk patients quickly. This can also reduce the length of stay and cost of care for the hospital.
Work with key hospital departments to spread awareness and education… Once unified, inpatient and outpatient team members can begin sharing their industry knowledge throughout the hospital via training, protocols, and formulary standardization. Ongoing training can help reduce product misuse, shorten healing times, and reduce HAPIs, particularly if your facility is experiencing high staff turnover.
- How do you make this a reality at your facility? Map out the different points of entry for wound care patients entering the hospital. Look at the ER, OR, urgent care centers, outpatient wound care program, and family practice clinics connected with the facility. Once identified, work with each of these departments to educate on approved wound care protocols and to encourage referrals to outpatient wound care as appropriate.
Measure your efforts through patient outcomes… When hospitals adopt a successful wound care-everywhere mindset, patient outcomes should improve and wound care related costs should decrease across the continuum. If you’re struggling to collect data to prove your efforts, WCA has built several support tools, education programs, and formulary resources included in our support packages to assist hospitals with this transformational approach.
- How do you make this a reality at your facility? Wound care data can be tricky to collect if it’s not already built into the hospital’s IT platform. However, there are innovative technologies and tools that exist to help facilities consistently track the right data and make necessary adjustments. In our network programs, our partners use our Luvo platform to collect data for actionable and easy-to-understand analysis.
WCA provides partners in The WCA Network with a suite of digital tools and services to support the wound care continuum, including:
- Luvo University: Team members access courses, videos, and quizzes for all things wound care. Education on products, wound types, documentation, and more are all available through Luvo University.
- Luvo EMR: Luvo EMR ensures sound documentation and connects with hospital EHR systems to make sharing data between teams easy.
- Luvo Inpatient ToolBox: Gain access to algorithms, decision trees, HAPI reduction strategies, and planning tools to strengthen your inpatient wound care.
- WCA Inpatient Consulting Team: The guiding principle of The WCA Network is ‘On your own, but not alone.’ Our network clinical team members are experienced nursing professionals who hold WCC and OMS certifications with decades of experience in the wound care field.
You can learn more about Luvo and schedule a demo here.
If you need direction or assistance getting started, or for any need related to wound care, reach out to us today at www.thewca.com/contact