How Wound Care is Adapting to COVID Medical Care
The healthcare sector has faced unprecedented challenges since early 2019. From the first wave of COVID to mutations and a disrupted medical system, wound care has changed quickly and perhaps permanently. Even post-pandemic, the previous wound care model may well be a thing of the past. If there’s one thing that COVID has transformed, it’s the move to a more case-specific management model that is helping individual patients move through the medical system more intuitively. That’s changing the wound care sector in some surprising and even positive ways. Wound care suppliers and the industry itself have already started making the shift.
How Covid-19 Has Impacted the Wound Care Industry
While the primary focus has been on the treatment and management of COVID patients, one of the key side effects highlights the need for wound care away from the front lines of the healthcare sector. That’s because, even though wound care isn’t often an emergent front line, it’s become more critical as it serves those with chronic illnesses. That means that there was the risk of overtaxing the healthcare system via inpatient stays and emergency room attendance. With the risk of COVID higher in those environments, it immediately became clear that wound care would have to be less site-specific.
The Rise of Telemedicine
While there are limitations with telemedicine models, it has proven to be a valuable option for those in the wound care sector. However, it has less value than other remote medical treatment areas because it does not allow for procedure-based medicine, and practitioners cannot effect change on wounds themselves. What telemedicine has allowed for is an effective wound maintenance approach, further easing the strain on a struggling healthcare system. Wound monitoring can be almost as effective via remote appointments, and because of the reduced time constraints, those monitoring sessions can be inserted into weekly visits. The result could be a reduction in healing time for wounds.
Shifting Responsibilities and Increased Cross-Collaboration
One of the COVID crisis’s defining aspects has been the explosion of collaboration, innovation, and cooperation in the wound care sector. Big names in wound care, academics, and clinical teams have been communicating on social media throughout the pandemic and providing guidance and help for medical teams working in Tissue Viability. Twitter was especially valuable for those separate organisations that started to work together, with academics getting involved by opening access to journals and databases. Established organisations and associations like Legs Matter and the National Wound Care Strategy Programme were incredibly rapid with their creation and dissemination of guidance protocols, including Lower Limb Amputation Prevention and in-depth guides on self-care for wounds and leg ulcers. As clinical workloads were reduced to help cope with the demands of COVID, resources became more easily deployed and were delivered where they would be most effective.
COVID is changing the wound care industry and its applications at a very rapid pace. It seems increasingly likely that the industry post-pandemic will be a very different landscape that benefits patients and frontline workers alike. Easing the strain on emergency rooms and clinics has been the priority, but the positives that have come out of the disaster could change wound care for the better long into the future.