Improving holistic assessment of chronic wounds
This recent UK study encourages wound care doctors to improve the holistic assessment of chronic wounds. This is something that Dr. Bruce Ruben at Encompass HealthCare has been doing for years. The full study is available online. Here is the beginning of it:
Improving holistic assessment of chronic wounds is a vital area of current focus. The new Wounds UK Best Practice Statement (Improving holistic assessment of chronic wounds, free to download from the Wounds UK site) emphasizes the need for wide-ranging assessment that considers the impact of all aspects of the patient’s health and wellbeing on the healing process, resisting the temptation to make the wound the sole focus. The document aims to support best practices and ensure that thorough, holistic assessment leads to improved outcomes (Wounds UK, 2018). This should be based around a structured system, such as the CASE wound assessment framework.
Large and increasing numbers of patients in the UK are living with a chronic wound, and it is predicted that the prevalence of chronic wounds will increase at a rate of 12% per year due to delayed healing (Guest et al, 2017).
Assessment has been identified as a key focus for improving wound care practice. The Commission for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) has introduced an indicator based on assessment, aiming to specifically improve care. This is one of 13 indicators for 2017—2019, with the goal ‘to increase the number of full wound assessments for wounds which have failed to heal after 4 weeks’ (NHS England, 2016). The implementation of this indicator links rates of wound assessment with funding payments. In doing so, this practice aims to improve wound assessment and overall care standards.
Patient involvement and empowerment play a key role in optimizing treatment and improving patient experiences. Encouraging patients to self-care and be involved in their treatment has been shown to improve outcomes (Wounds International, 2016).