Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Product Driven Wound Care

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By Kathi Thimsen RN, MSN, WOCN

The responses that I have been getting from the blogs are terrific! It is wonderful to know that clinicians are interested, questioning, and wanting to know what is in products. So, now in 2012, we continue this blog with the topic of products and practice.

I have been monitoring some web-based communities that are composed of clinicians, sales representatives, and consumers. I think that the consumer’s need and right to know is not only growing, but necessary for them in order to become self-advocates for quality healthcare.

If you follow discussions of healthcare and reform, you will often hear the position of putting healthcare in the hands of the public to self-manage and fund with subsidies. In a quest to not become too political, I want to pose two questions. The first is, do you believe that John Q Public knows what they need for prevention, maintenance, and treatment with regard to their health or medical care? I invite your comments on that query.

The second question is more of a scenario that I have seen in social media, as well as in several legal cases that I have reviewed. The situation starts with a consumer or untrained “treatment” nurse who has a wound that will not heal. They seek input from magazines, the web, co-workers, friends, and vendors (vendors…please don’t stop reading!), and what follows is an issue that warrants attention.

The intention of the information in this blog was to increase a clinician’s knowledge about what is in a product. Having this understanding provides a basis of deciding the approach to care, once an assessment has been performed. Assessing what caused the wound (etiology) is the actual first step in comprehensive wound management. Evaluating what the patient’s needs are from not only a wound perspective, but also taking into account therapeutic cushioning, pressure relief needs, and systemic supportive therapies (such as nutrition, hydration, and compression) all constitute a thorough and comprehensive wound management practice.

Wound management should be patient focused and NOT product driven.

Next time: Case report on product driven care and implications of putting products before patients.

About The Author
Kathi Thimsen RN, MSN, WOCN is a leader in the field of wound and ostomy care, publishing articles, presenting at conferences nationally and internationally, and serving on numerous committees and education boards including the International Association of Forensic Nurses Ethic Committee.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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