Clinical and economic outcomes from a digitally-enabled, interdisciplinary wound care program: presented at a national wound care conference.
Wound Care in the Pandemic
In Canada, 50% of all healthcare in the home and community involves a wound. Many of these wound care patients need frequent home visits to ensure their wounds are healing properly and to prevent new wounds from developing. Without regular care, these patients can face infection, hospitalization, amputation and even death.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these patients have been at even greater risk as face-to-face access to experts and specialists has been more limited. High-risk wound patients – the same older, comorbid population most susceptible to COVID-19 – risked exposure to infection by travelling to in-person appointments and risked new or worsening wounds if they couldn’t access timely care from their homes.
A Collaborative, Team-based Approach
To help overcome this challenge, Home and Community Care Support Services Central East (Central East) created the Wound Care Inter-professional Team (IPT), a collaborative, cross-continuum care team, to ensure patients continue to receive seamless, high quality wound care in the home and community during the pandemic.
This nurse-led, interprofessional team includes surgeons, infectious disease experts, chiropodists, NPs, RNs, RPNs, care coordinators and paramedics from dozens of hospitals, home care service providers and wound clinics across the Central East region, which covers an area of 17,000km and a population of 1.5 million people. The team is focused on the highest complexity patients with long-term, non-healing wounds – some patients wounds that have been open for over a decade.
To enable this innovative model of care, the Central East adopted Swift Medical’s digital wound management platform to enable the capture and analysis of high precision wound data in the home and to empower interprofessional virtual consultations between clinicians and patients across the care continuum.
Accelerating the Adoption of Digital Wound Care
The development of this innovative partnership, care model and technology has only been possible with the dedicated support of the Digital Technology Supercluster, who funded the creation and growth of Telewound Care Canada. Telewound Care Canada is a national consortium of healthcare providers, academic institutions and technology innovators working together to enable accessible and equitable wound care for every patient, in any place – throughout and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Impacts of Digital, Interdisciplinary Wound Care
The results of the Wound Care IPT were presented at Wound Canada’s National Conference on October 21-22, 2021 (see poster here).
Patient Impact – Survey Responses
Clinician Impact – Survey Responses
Health System Impact
While the global pandemic had many negative impacts, it has created opportunities for growth, innovation and creative virtual wound solutions, which have further enhanced the delivery of health care.