CLINIC IN FOCUS
Continuing our series of interviews featuring outstanding hyperbaric and wound care centers around the world, we spotlight in this issue the Edward Hospital Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois.
How has seeking UHMS accreditation affected your clinic?
It has demonstrated our passion to provide the highest quality care and outcomes. It united the clinic to work for a common goal and to continue to treat our patients with best- practice medicine. Having hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the wound clinic itself allows all the staff to coordinate care for the patients. It provides streamlined and efficient care.
What are the most common indications treated at your clinic?
Wounds and ulcerations of various etiologies are treated at the Edward Hospital Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center. Wound care indications such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, peripheral arterial ulcers, and pressure ulcers are the main four, with diabetic foot ulcers as the most common. Evidenced-based practice guidelines are utilized to develop comprehensive treatment plans to assist with the healing of the patient.
The most common indications treated in the hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy program include diabetic foot ulcers, compromised flap/graft, osteomyelitis, and soft tissue radio necrosis. After appropriate patients go through a screening process and it has been determined that HBO therapy may assist with healing, treatment is started in conjunction with standard wound care. Treatments consist of two hours a day, five days a week, for an average of thirty treatments.
What is the most memorable treatment success story that has come out of your clinic?
A 40-year-old female with a history of neurofibromatosis injured her left lateral leg in March 2014 after it was hit by a car door. She was treated for a staph and fungal infection. In August 2014, the wound was surgically debrided and started on negative pressure wound therapy. Due to complications of infection and comorbidities, the wound deteriorated, and the threat of loss of limb was pending. With collaboration of a vascular surgeon and infectious disease and wound care team, the patient was followed very diligently. She was seen in the wound care center three times a week for close visualization of wound. Infection was managed, and she improved to the point of accepting a biosynthetic skin graft.
Currently she is 99% healed and should have total resolution of the wound within the next few visits.
If you had to pick one thing to attribute your clinic’s success to, what would it be?
Collaboration between all the staff is the main reason for our success. Everyone works together on the patients’ care. Physicians, RNs, APNs, medical assistants, and hyperbaric techs all give their input. Everyone’s treatment is individualized based on best-practice guidelines
What is one marketing recommendation that you can make to help clinics increase their patient load?
Communicating with the community’s physicians is an important marketing tool. Wound care and hyperbaric medicine are specialized services to help patients heal. Reports are sent to primary physicians to update them on their patient’s progress, and referrals to other specialties (diabetes education, physical therapy, weight-loss clinics) can be coordinated. Also, it is helpful to communicate the benefits of hyperbaric medicine to oral surgeons and cancer physicians who may not be aware of some treatment options that hyperbaric medicine can provide.
Is there are any additional question you’d like to answer, or any other information about your clinic you’d like to showcase?
All of our hyperbaric techs are CHT. We also have two nurses who are CHRN and four nurses who are certified in wound and ostomy. All the staff has taken a forty-hour hyperbaric training course — even the director of the program has taken it. It shows how invested the staff and hospital are to providing the best care and outcomes for their patients.