The direct costs associated with treating wounds make up about 2-5 percent of total healthcare spending, which is in the same range as the costs of treating obesity or cancer. Based on a survey conducted by Lohja Hospital and primary care providers in the area, it has been estimated that more than half a million wound treatments are performed annually in the health care facilities of the HUS region.
“Significant improvements can be made in wound care. Currently, wound care is fragmented among several stakeholders, and the healthcare resource requirements caused by wounds are not sufficiently recognized,” says Dr. Milla Kalliovascular surgeon at the HUS Wound Center.
Dr. Kallio emphasizes that although new innovations in wound care are valuable, they are marginal compared to the importance of taking basic aspects into account and ensuring the functionality of treatment paths. “The majority of ulcers can be prevented, and the majority of existing ulcers can be treated in primary care. Basics such as prevention, local wound care, edema control and debridement should be managed in all health care units,” says Dr. Kallio.
Special skills are needed both in primary health care and in specialized nursing care. “Concentrating expertise in wound care departments and clinics has proven to be effective in primary health care. In specialized health care, our tasks include the treatment of wounds suspected to be arterial diseases, infections requiring hospital treatment, wounds requiring surgery, and wounds of unclear etiology,” explains Dr. Heli Laguschief physician of plastic surgery.
Networks and improved expertise produce positive results
A comprehensive Swedish population study published in 2015 showed that organizing wound care networks and increasing skills led to a decrease in the prevalence of ulcers, even as the population aged and the prevalence of diseases that worsen wound healing increased.
“We have also achieved positive results in Finland. A development project was implemented in the Karviais municipality’s social and health sector municipal corporation to increase wound care expertise and improve the internal care path. The number of wound treatment sessions recorded in nursing homes decreased by more than 50 percent during the project,” says Dr. Lagus.
The establishment of HUS’s wound center five years ago
Established in 2018, the HUS wound center is staffed by a plastic surgeon, a vascular surgeon, a dermatologist, a general practitioner specializing in wound care training, and two authorized wound nurses with professional training. The center’s mission is to develop a wound care network and promote the integration of primary care and specialized medical care.
Source: The Nordic Page