Practice tip of the week: Five reasons why doctors should become wound care specialists

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Your weekly dose of wisdom from the Physicians Practice experts.

With all the useful information available on Physicians Practice, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

With this in mind, the tip of the week is a chance to reflect on some of the wisdom found all across the site. In a February 2021 story on five reasons why doctors should become wound care specialists, Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN writes the following:

“Senior populations are growing rapidly and will need increased quality medical care. Along with this growth comes an increased need for quality medical care, especially in areas such as wound care and pressure ulcers. Becoming certified in wound care can help doctors in many ways. Here are just five:

1). Expand knowledge base - understanding how to treat wounds and pressure ulcers expands a doctor’s knowledge base in a way that is increasingly needed.

2). Improve quality of care - pressure ulcers have recently attracted the attention of the medicolegal community. Some courts regard pressure ulcers as evidence of elder abuse, and following this precedent, in 2008 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services instituted a policy to withhold reimbursement to acute-care hospitals for the costs of treating pressure ulcers.

3). Shorten hospital stays - The National Library of Medicine recognizes pressure ulcers as a relevant contributor to hospital stays. They write, “Pressure ulcers make a significant independent contribution to excess length of hospitalization beyond what might be expected based on admission diagnosis.”

4). Reduce comorbidity - Compared to patients who do not develop pressure ulcers, patients who develop pressure ulcers are more likely to develop nosocomial infections and other hospital complications.

5). Respond to patient need - As patients with many medical conditions may be at higher risk for pressure ulcers, it is important that physicians recognize that even in the ambulatory care environment appropriate prevention and detection strategies are needed.