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Introduction

Disruption of biofilm in the wound bed has been a concept that medical professionals have considered for centuries. Even before we understood the underlying concepts of microbiology, cleaning and wound debridement have been included in wound care.1

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It is estimated that between 2% and 6% of the global population currently live with wounds, a figure that is expected to increase as more people age. The cost of wound care in the United States is approximately $60 billion annually. This figure is also expected to increase unless wound care strategies adapt.

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The concept of wound hygiene has grown traction recently as clinicians increasingly adopt an antibiofilm-oriented approach to wound care. Despite the increase in recognition of wound hygiene as a four-step protocol, many definitions for wound care terminology evolve as clinical understanding grows and new wound care protocols continue to emerge.

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Bacterial load or burden: Presence of bacterial pathogens in an open wound contributing to wound chronicity and persistence of inflammatory cycle. There are several points along the spectrum of bacterial presence in chronic wounds: contamination, colonization, critical colonization, infection, and sepsis.

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As the health care industry moves from volume-driven to value-based care, clinicians are looking for ways to improve care and outcomes while reducing costs. Data-driven practice management has emerged as a key strategy for cost-effective quality care. But the question remains: How can patient data and analytics be used to improve wound care across care settings? Additionally, how can artificial intelligence and machine learning affect outcomes, and how can these technologies help providers achieve even better results in the future?

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Wound care professionals should review clinical workflow regularly to provide effective and efficient wound care. If changes occur in your organization or the field, this review may prove vital in the face of growing patient numbers and high staff turnover. Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical workflows can improve both cost-effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Because of this dual purpose, quantitative and qualitative assessments should be considered when evaluating clinical workflows.

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According to a recent MGMA Stat poll, 60% of health care organizations offer an onboarding/mentorship program for new health care professionals. This process involves the transfer of knowledge from 1 clinician to another. While this premise sounds straightforward, it is more nuanced.

Wound care professionals may struggle to meet the ever-increasing needs of patients while they focus on learning new technologies or knowledge in a rapidly evolving field. Mentorship programs allow for easier knowledge transfer to speed up the learning process.

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Jobs in the field of medicine are notoriously demanding. However, many factors are converging to exacerbate this problem, and clinician burnout poses a large threat to the health care system in the United States. Unfortunately, this problem does not impact a single segment of specialists but is systemic at many health care facilities.

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Electronic Medical Record (EMR): A digital version of the paper charts in the clinician’s office. An EMR contains the medical and treatment history of each patient in the practice.

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At-risk patient—pressure injuries: Patients who have limitations in their daily living activities are at risk for developing pressure injuries, especially if they are exposed to pressure, shear, friction, or moisture.

Bony prominence: On an anatomical structure, any bony projection or elevation.

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