What are the benefits of outpatient wound care? PLENTY!
Most people wouldn’t want to be caught dead in a hospital and for good reason. That’s where all the really bad germs hang out. You know, the antibiotic resistant germs. The ones they can’t extinguish with a simple shot of anything.
They’re called “nosocomial infections” and you get exposed to them simply by getting treated in a hospital setting. So if you have a choice on where to get your wound care, it’s a good idea to get treated as far away from the hospital as you can, preferably in an outpatient setting where there are naturally less antibiotic resistant germs and less carriers of those germs.
Here are five great benefits to getting your wound care outside of the hospital:
Okay, I think you’ve got this one by now. But just to illustrate a point, imagine there’s a patient with the nasty Clostridium Difficile (aka: C-Diff) bacteria a few doors down during your stay in the hospital. We’re talking life-threatening diarrhea. C-diff is a hospital-borne infection. Now, the guy who stocks the examination gloves for every room is in your room to stock the gloves. He does so by taking gloves out of a box and shoving them into the glove container mounted on the wall. But look! He’s not wearing gloves himself! And he’s been in the C-diff room right before yours! Is he unknowingly contaminating the gloves in your room with life-threatening diarrhea things? Gloves that are going to touch you? There. Now, I’m sure you got this one.
2. Not All IV Needles Are Alike. Neither Are IV Infusions.
In an outpatient wound care facility like Encompass HealthCare, we use very small 23-gauge butterfly needles to access veins. The needles are so thin that they often cause no pain at all. Hospitals like to use wider gauge needles like 18-gauge and 21-gauge. Hospitals are also more likely to install a “port,” which is a semi-permanent tube imbedded into the body. The thinking is you won’t have to be re-stuck every day, and that it’s easier to get your IV that way. The problem is a port is just an open tunnel where bacteria can breed that leads directly into the vein. So stick with the outpatient wound care center, no pun intended.
3. Outpatient Wound Care Facilities Are More Convenient.
Frankly, I can only speak for Encompass HealthCare here, but not only are we open seven days a week, (you can do that when you don’t have tons of overhead like a hospital,) but you can usually park within 50 feet of your treatment area. That means you can get in quickly, get your treatment, and then get on with your life faster. The same goes for hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Just try to schedule HBOT treatments at the hospital. There’s nothing convenient about it. Flexibility = 0. Did I mention that in our outpatient wound care center you can get your treatment, bandage changes and doctor’s visit all in the same appointment? Now that’s convenient.
4. Outpatient Wound Care is More Personalized.
If you’ve ever spent a couple days in the hospital, you know what “continuity of care” is not. It’s the night shift not understanding what happened with you on the day shift. Different days, different nurses, different doctors, different skill levels…
In an outpatient center, you see the same faces every day and they get to know you. Your goals, your preferences…they know which veins are good and which veins they should avoid. Sorry, you just can’t get those kind of provider/patient relationships in a big hospital. They don’t have the time and the provider-to-patient ratio is constantly shrinking.
Did I mention the complimentary protein smoothies for our patients? That’s right. Protein and nutrition are very important elements in wound care. And you’re more likely to find that kind of attention to detail in an outpatient wound care facility.
5. We Have Tape, Only None Of It Is Red.
Sure, we have forms to fill out. Once. But after that, there is very little bureaucracy in outpatient wound care. That leaves the patient with only one job: to get better. We don’t bog you down with a binder of discharge papers when you leave, either. Oh, you might get one piece of paper with instructions. Maybe a free sample of our favorite wound cleansing soap and a loofa to apply it with. But our goal is always to put the care in wound care.
That’s especially easy to accomplish when you’re not tied down by a hospital.