Wound Care Research

Though wound care is a robust evidence-driven field with a broad variety of treatments for chronic wounds that have been proven safe and effective, more research must be done to determine how to best optimize healing for painful, life-threatening wounds. With the anticipated rise in chronic wounds, the Federal government needs to provide more funding for wound care research so patients can get back on their feet, literally, as quickly as possible. The longer a patient suffers from a chronic wound, the more likely they are to contract potentially fatal infections.

“Chronic non-healing wounds cost more than heart-failure and have a higher mortality rate than breast or colon cancer but there is no comparable investment in research.” – Dr. Caroline Fife, executive director of the US Wound Registry

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To fully understand the economic burden and impact of chronic nonhealing wounds to Medicare, the Alliance sponsored a comprehensive analysis that resulted in the study “An Economic Evaluation of the Impact, Cost, and Medicare Policy Implications of Chronic Nonhealing Wounds,” published in Jan. 2018 the International Society For Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research’s Value in Health journal. The study analyzed the Medicare 5% Limited Data Set for CY2014 to determine the cost of chronic wound care for Medicare beneficiaries in aggregate, by wound type, and by setting. Topline findings show that chronic wounds impact nearly 15% of Medicare beneficiaries (8.2 million) at an annual cost to Medicare conservatively estimated at $28.1 to $31.7 billion. Read key findings and policy implications.
Kara Couch

Kara Couch, MS, CRNP, CWS, Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Wound Specialist at the Wound Healing and Limb Preservation Center, George Washington University Hospital

We are gaining an ever-improved understanding of the cellular function of wounds and in wound healing. The science has advanced so much in the past few decades and the technology is aiming to keep up. Real world evidence and the acceptance of more patient-centered outcomes can be huge drivers of innovations that can improve healing, and enhance patients’ lives as they undergo wound treatment.

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John Steinberg

Dr. John Steinberg, DPM, Co-Director of the Center for Wound Healing and Professor of Plastic Surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

For many years, we in wound care research were looking for a ‘silver bullet’ to heal a chronic wound. Today, with our enhanced understanding of the etiology of chronic wounds, we understand that both the formation of a wound and the healing of a wound healing rely on many different systems and functions. When we approach a wound recognizing its etiology and approaching it from a mechanical and functional perspective, we realize there is no magic gel or silver bullet. Chronic wounds aren’t a ‘podiatry problem’ or ‘vascular problem.’ Just as we need multi-disciplinary teams to treat wounds, we also can’t expect to address one element of a nonhealing wound and have the wound heal.  The ‘silver bullet’ of today is no longer an individual product or technology, it is the combination of interventions, deployed at the right time to the right patient in the right kind of wound. Looking ahead, the “silver bullet” of tomorrow will be the information and insights we can pull from big data and patient registries to further refine and improve wound care practice.

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