Health leaders have an important role to play in making the necessary shifts to improve wound prevention and care in Canada, to reduce wasted health-care dollars and to create a healthier Canadian society. In the case of wounds, the most cost-effective and lowest personal impact hierarchy should be:

  1. Prevent all preventable wounds
  2. Prevent all existing wounds from becoming complex and/or chronic
  3. Move all chronic wounds onto a healing trajectory
  4. Provide excellent care for patients with unhealable wounds

To accomplish this, health leaders are encouraged to make prevention and early intervention for high-risk patients a priority. Unfortunately, the current systems in Canada and elsewhere are not built on a foundation that supports this approach. According to Bus and van Netten (2016), “For every euro spent on ulcer prevention, 10 are spent on ulcer healing, and for every randomized controlled trial conducted on prevention, 10 are conducted on healing.”

Wounds Canada believes that financial, human and physical resources must be allocated differently than they are today in order to reduce suffering and wasted health-care dollars . Many frontline clinicians are aware of the gaps but are frustrated by policies and priorities that iimpede efforts to implement earlier intervention that may prevent wounds or reduce their severity and level of complication. Patients generally lack the knowledge they need to make good decisions to prevent or reduce the severity or chronicity of wounds.

Health leaders and advocates must therefore step in and create an environment where prevention and early intervention are paramount. To accomplish this, they should consider:

  1. Ongoing education for themselves relating to the issues that impact wounds through attendance at conferences and summits (Spring Conference and Fall Conference), by taking courses onsite or online (see the Education section) and by reading relevant articles (view the Reading List)
  2. Creating a culture that encourages and supports professional development for frontline clinicians
  3. Putting in place policies that align with the latest best practice evidence, particularly in the areas of prevention and early intervention
  4. Providing access to required resources for employees and clients
  5. Lobbying other decision makers, particularly for items 2, 3 and 4

 

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