Key Areas of Concern
The focus on treatment vs. prevention of Canadian health systems leads to increased patient suffering and wasted health-care dollars. This is true across all wound types except surgical. For wounds that are not preventable, there is often a lack of attention to preventing them from becoming chronic.
Evidence-informed best practice is not standard in all jurisdictions. Clinician education needs improvement and government policies must align with the latest best practice research.
While many jurisdictions claim to be patient-focused, none, in fact, are. A true patient focus would prevent many wounds from forming in the first place and prevent existing acute wounds from become chronic.
A wound is an injury to living tissue, most often where the skin integrity is interrupted. Most people are familiar—often through personal experience—with common wounds such as cuts, scrapes, blisters, and minor burns. Some wounds can be have a serious impact on the individual because they are deep and/or extensive. These might include stab wounds, gunshot wounds, major burns and many types of surgical incisions.
In healthy individuals, most wounds heal on their own over time with minimal intervention. These are known as acute wounds.
However, for people with conditions such as diabetes, poor blood flow in the legs, neurological or sensory deficits, musculoskeletal conditions, etc., wound healing can be slow or stall completely. These slow, stalled or non-healing wounds are known as chronic wounds. These slow, stalled or non-healing wounds are known as chronic wounds, and they can sometimes be present for years if left untreated. This wound type can lead to serious complications such as significantly altered lifestyle, amputation and death. Patients with chronic wounds usually need the assistance of an experienced wound management team to address the reasons the wound is not healing as expected.
Wounds Canada informs the public and stakeholders about key issues related to skin and wound care. The media is one communication vehicle used to raise awareness of current matters:
October 12, 2022
To help address an increase in acute and hard-to-heal wounds, Wounds Canada and the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) are launching a program designed to deliver evidence-informed, interdisciplinary proficient-level wound education for front-line clinicians. The Wound Care Champion Program (WCCP) will train regulated health professionals in Ontario as wound care champions, with 200 spots to be funded by the provincial Ministry of Health. Click here to view.
April 11, 2022
Wounds Canada is thrilled to announce we have partnered with Lakehead University's School of Nursing and School of Social Work to host the first-ever virtual Patient Journey Conference on Thursday, June 9 and Friday, June 10. Called Our Voices, Our Stories, the conference will bring individuals, families and caregivers affected by complex wounds together with researchers, health and social service providers, educators, community leaders, and policymakers. The even is funded through a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Dr. Ide Costa from the School of Nursing is the conference’s chair. Click here to view.
April 11, 2022
We're excited to announce Wounds Canada and Health Espresso have partnered on a digital solution that enables front-line clinicians, patients, policymakers, and researchers to digitize a patient’s journey and connect members of allied health teams at the right time to decrease acute and hard-to-heal wounds, reduce hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes. Leveraging this technology will enable Wounds Canada to establish a Canadian national registry that can inform further research in wound care and provide quick and easy access to Wounds Canada’s validated tools and resources for immediate bedside action by clinicians and help support wound management by patients, especially those living in outlying communities. Click here to view.
May 19, 2021
We're excited to announce that Diabetes Canada and Wounds Canada have partnered to address the gaps in care related to foot care and amputation prevention that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A special webinar event for patients living with diabetes and their caregivers will be presented on Facebook Live, Thursday, May 20 at 2 p.m. EDT. Click here to view.
April 18, 2016
A Positive Response from the Quebec Health Minister
On February 13th, Wounds Canada, in collaboration with CAET and RQSP, sent a letter to the Minister of Health of Quebec (click to view). Together, we raised concern for the potential closing of the clinique des plaies complexes de l'hôtel-Dieu de Lévis. This interprofessional wound care clinic provides essential, cost-effective patient care and an effective net cost-savings to the healthcare system. On April 18th, the Minister’s office replied requesting a face-to-face meeting with Wounds Canada and one of the Minister’s staff members.
April 12, 2016
Wounds Canada and RNAO are advocating for policy change to prevent diabetes-related foot ulcers and amputations. Click here to view
October 31, 2014:
New awareness campaign aims to close the care gap, reduce limb amputations for Canadian peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients. Click here to view
September 19, 2013
RNAO and Wounds Canada join forces to produce quarterly Diabetic Foot Canada Journal, helping to aid in the national eradication of diabetic foot ulcers. Click here to view
May 2, 2012
New survey reveals Canadians living with diabetes aren’t putting their best foot forward when it comes to proper foot care. Click here to view
November 8, 2010
Wounds Canada identifies ways to strengthen wound care delivery, reallocate health care dollars. Click here to view
June 28, 2010
To reduce the prevalence of amputations due to complications of the diabetic foot, Wounds Canada is stepping up their awareness and public education campaign. Through funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Wounds Canada developed a new website that is easy for those with diabetes and health care providers to navigate. It contains steps to take for healthy feet, contacts for foot care professionals, questionnaires and a wealth of other invaluable information every person living with diabetes should know. Click here to view
Established in 1995, the Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing skin health and wound management in Canada. Under the banner of Wounds Canada, the organization is a leader in moving the latest evidence into the public domain to support best practices in skin- and wound-related care to improve the lives of all Canadians.
Our efforts fall into four categories:
Advocacy and Awareness
Bringing awareness to Canadians of issues related to skin health and wound management to improve patient self-management activities and prevent costly and devastating wound-related complications; making recommendations to governments that will result in better patient outcomes and cost savings.
Creating educational materials and programs for all stakeholders.
Supporting, co-ordinating and promoting skin and wound research, communicating the results of research to stakeholders in a form they can use, identifying gaps that researchers can address
Working with other organizations to advance skin health and effective wound care in Canada.
The CAWC offers opportunities to health-care professionals using various methods to provide flexible, interprofessional education that supports the learning needs and professional career growth in the areas of skin health, wound prevention and management. The strength of the programs lies not only in their content and delivery methods, but also because they are part of a continuum of learning aimed at improving the practice of health-care professionals all levels, in all settings and across the entire country. Because our educational programs are linked to our publications, social media channels and conference, the messages are reinforced and accessible regardless of the learning style of the HCP. This “layering” is one of the strength’s of CAWC Education.
The basis for the education is a series of online modules that provide foundational knowledge of wound prevention and management.
Online Modules: Laying the Foundation
The basis for the education is a series of online modules that provide foundational knowledge of wound prevention and management. The Ontario Hospital Association and the Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC) have partnered to create the Foundations of Wound Care program, composed of five online modules. Modules
Principles of Wound Healing is a free online module that should be completed before starting the four modules below:
- Introduction to Wounds
- Prevention and Management of Venous Leg Ulcers
- Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers
- Prevention and Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
For more information or to register, please visit http://www.oha.com/Education/OnlineTrainingandTools/Pages/WoundCare.aspx
The Foundations of Wound Care program is the prerequisite for Case-Based Workshop: Changing Practice through Applied Knowledge. Please note that if you intend to register for this two day workshop, the 5 modules are included in the workshop registration fee (unless otherwise mentioned).