UR Medicine Home Care’s Specialized Wound Care Program Helps Patients Heal Faster

Approximately half of all patients served by UR Medicine Home Care are afflicted with some type of wound and/or ostomy complication. An estimated 20% of these cases need direct monitoring from a certified wound care specialist.

This prevalence of complex wound care cases in the community is a staggering illustration of just how directly the health care system relies on home care, as patients are increasingly discharged from hospitals with greater and more complex needs.

To meet these needs, UR Medicine Home Care has stepped in with an innovative Wound and Ostomy Care Program. It delivers specialized program and nursing expertise coupled with education for individuals who would otherwise need costly services provided in an institutional setting, like a hospital or nursing home.

The program is built around a team of Certified Wound and Ostomy Care Nurses (CWOCN) who are certified by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB). They are trained to consult on cases with complex wound or ostomy needs, providing education to patients and staff about evidence-based best practices for wound, ostomy and continence issues. This work has been proven to expedite wound healing times, reduce readmission rates, safely decrease higher-cost service utilization, and enhance patient quality of life and satisfaction with care.

In addition to the specialized work and oversight of CWOCNs, UR Medicine Home Care trains all of its nurses in the principles of wound, ostomy and continence care to broaden awareness and improve quality across the full breadth of agency services and cases.

This comprehensive approach also utilizes dietitians and occupational and physical therapists to review the important role that nutrition plays in wound healing, address dexterity issues involving the use of equipment, or the possible need for strength building and improvement in mobility.

UR Medicine Home Care stays up-to-date with new technologies and is able to better treat its patients in the community through partnerships with outpatient wound and ostomy clinics, physicians, local hospitals, supply manufacturers and distributors for post-discharge supply needs, and professional associations. Ostomy care patients are also linked with their ostomy appliance manufacturers who provide ongoing support and additional educational materials.

Through implementation of evidence-based practices, improved product selection, and ongoing patient and staff education, UR Medicine Home Care has been able to decrease many of its wound and ostomy nursing visits to just 2 or 3 per week. Keeping patients safely and comfortably at home ultimately reduces the overall cost of services and minimizes the burden placed on the patient.

For more information, please see the brochure here. UR Medicine Home Care is a not-for-profit agency, licensed by the State of New York as a Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) serving Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties. For more information on their services, please visit https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/home-care.aspx or call 585-274-4255.

A Vignette

UR Medicine Home Care was serving a patient with a chronic venous stasis ulcer over most of this patient’s lower leg for approximately five years. This wound was very large and drained profusely, causing the patient pain, distress, and a significantly decreased quality of life. The team — comprised of a visiting nurse, CWOCN, dietician, physical and occupational therapists — worked with this patient over a seven-month period using an intense multi-disciplinary approach with regular visits from all disciplines involved. Over this period, the size of the patient’s wound decreased by approximately 75%.