From 'Classroom to Bedside'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Smith & Nephew's Terry Coggins spent several months asking wound care providers how the company could provide better tools to help them care for patients.

The result: Smith & Nephew in June launched "Classroom to Bedside," a multimedia educational program.

"Much of what we do in home care is wound management," said Coggins, medical education manager. "For nurses who are not experts and need that information, being able to take that lesson and take those tools with them really helps reinforce (the lesson) and gives them a resource when they need that information."

The multimedia program features a series of teaching modules, DVDs, webinars and pocket tools centered on four advanced wound care topics: pressure ulcer prevention; wound assessment and documentation; management of non-healing wounds; and the use of advanced wound care dressings and negative pressure wound therapy.

"These are where the biggest needs lie," said Coggins. "Assessment is always a challenge, and pressure ulcer prevention is on the radar for all settings."

Several years ago, pressure ulcers became a "never event" in hospitals, meaning that insurers will no longer pay for the care to treat a pressure ulcer that developed in the hospital. That's going to become a big deal in the homecare setting, as well, said Coggins.

"People who had good (wound management programs) in place did very well," he said. "Those who didn't, struggled."

With healthcare reform pushing prevention and cost savings, a good wound care program can reduce hospital readmissions and save money in the healthcare system, said July Reed, director of marketing communications for wounds for North America.

"We are focused on the whole continuum of care in the role of wound care," she said. "Whether by managing wounds correctly, whether it's prevention or treatment with appropriate product use, we can help reduce the human and economic cost of wounds."