By Industry News
Wound care patients are at high risk for hospitalization and death if they contract COVID-19
March 30, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, focusing on mitigating the disease and maintaining a stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) has changed standard procedures. Many institutions have reportedly closed wound clinics preventing wound patients from obtaining much needed services, procedures and surgeries. Chronic wound patients often present with other comorbidities such as older age, diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, peripheral arterial disease, venous insufficiency and obesity, any of which increases their susceptibility to COVID-19. The unintended consequence of losing access to wound care can increase the risk of the wound deteriorating which could require hospitalization and possible amputation. Wound care is essential to the health of wound patients. For this reason, the Alliance for Wound Care Stakeholders drafted a letter that wound care clinicians may use to justify ongoing care (Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders).
Supporting wound health care providers at this time is important in order to transition to a new normal, of more telemedicine while still aggressively combating infection through key wound care procedures. Use of new technology can play a strong role in optimizing wound care and helping determine when a wound patient needs to be seen in person in order to minimize hospitalization and potential exposure to COVID-19. The Wound Healing Society has developed some suggested guidelines to help clinicians navigate the new normal at this time (Wound Healing Society).
Chronic wound care patients and their care givers provide essential information about their health status to providers. Therefore, an open line of communication between the wound patient/care giver and the wound care provider is key. This can be a call, text, e-mail, telehealth virtual visit or if needed, in person appointment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare has greatly expanded telehealth visits under the 1135 waiver (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). Wound care providers interested in using telemedicine may find this webinar helpful (Association for the Advancement of Wound Care). The Wound Healing Foundation has developed some tips for patients to help them provide pertinent and critical information about their wound when communicating with their wound care provider (Wound Healing Foundation).
It is the opinion of The Wound Healing Foundation (WHF) that with the challenges facing us during the COVID-19 pandemic, more opportunities will arise and result in unique solutions and treatments for wound care patients.
Help Your Patients Give You Better Information During COVID-19
The WHF knows how difficult COVID-19 has been on clinicians and patients. They also know that many wound care patients felt isolated before the pandemic and may be feeling even more so now. Some clinics are offering telemedicine/telehealth visit to minimize exposure of wound care patients. To help, the Wound Healing Foundation offers COVID-19 Pandemic Wound Patient Tips for clinicians to share with patients from the WHF homepage. Patients can utilize the Wound Healing Foundation Support Community which offers peer-to-peer support in a safe and moderated environment so patients can connect with people who are or have gone through similar issues.
Since 2017, the WHF has partnered with Inspire, the leading social network for health, to offer a safe place for patients and caregivers to connect and support one another on issues related to wounds and wound care. The Wound Healing Foundation Support Community members can read, ask questions or respond to discussions on the community, upload photos and even search for specific topics. Membership is easy and needs only three things; user name, birthday and e-mail. Go to http://www.woundhealingfoundation.org/inspire.aspx and click the red "Join the Wound Healing Online Support Community" button.
Meeting Postponement List
The following events have been postponed due to COVID-19:
- 8th Annual Wound Healing Foundation – Thomas K Hunt Lecture
- 20th Annual Wound Healing Foundation – 3M Fellowship Lecture
- 1st Annual Wound Healing Foundation-Medline Corius Innovation Lecture
- Wound Healing Foundation Voice of the Patient
About the Wound Healing Foundation
Founded in 1999, The Wound Healing Foundation is a public 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving wound healing worldwide through funding research, education, and outreach. The Foundation was formed by dedicated professionals committed to wound care and to provide patients, researchers, and health professionals the resources to make significant contributions in the critical and under appreciated area of wound healing. For more information, visit https//:www.woundhealingfoundation.org.
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.