A good wound care case study represents in a clear and timely fashion the entire treatment and healing process. It does not only serve as a guideline for treating similar wounds in the future to benefit more patients but also helps establish a reputation and authority for the companies involved – be it the medical center, the devoted staff or the medical device used. However, not any case with wound pictures can turn into a case study as industry-related case studies have strict guidelines and are closely monitored. Here are three tips advised by our Director of Clinical Nursing – Gayle Jameson, BSN, RN, CWON, CWS, FACCWS and we have summarized them for you.
Selecting the Ideal Case
You have done your research, know what wound types and treatment methods you would like to do the case study on, and to make things flow even better – a few medical centers have contacted you about receiving patients with diabetic ulcers, traumatic wounds, and no blood circulation in the legs. Do you know which case to pick? Yes, all the ones that match the wound types and treatment methods you intend to research on. This is because you can never predict how the wound healing process goes and what the ultimate outcome is, yet you need every single step and piece of information to build the case study. This requires extensive clinical research and continuous follow-up with clinicians and patients. You will have to give up on most of the cases after a while but at least you would not end up discovering a valuable case only by receiving a “thank you” email to tell you that wound has healed. That may make some good social media quotes but not enough for a case study as you do not have the thorough clinical information. Being attentive to the patient from the beginning makes sure good information does not slip out of your hands!
After the right cases are picked, things continue at the bedside with the most important people involved: the patients. The patients are the ones who provide the story and grant you the permission to share their information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule protects patients their sensitive health information and privacy rights. Companies and organizations usually have their own consent forms that must be signed by the patient before the case study can be published. Such forms usually ask permission to use the patient’s protected health information including wound type, patient age, age of wound, factors that affect wound healing, treatment, payment and health care operations. You can consult with your legal team about which consent form to use or you can view sample here put together by University of Southern California.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And think about it, it would not be a good wound care case study without the long-lasting visual effects the wound pictures provide. Here comes the tricky part – you need to collect at least three photographs taken by the clinician in charge to demonstrate the treatment and healing process at different stages from the beginning to the end. While you have the clinicians talking with you about taking pictures for the case study, it is a good idea to ask them about the case in details to seek guidance and advice.
We hope that you have learned something new about writing wound care case and share this article to help spread the knowledge. If there is anything you would like to add and contribute to better case studies for advanced patient care, please feel free to comment below. If you are a patient who needs treatment support, a wound care professional, or a DME/distributor interested in learning more about the extriCARE® NPWT system, please don’t hesitate to contact us. To view our extriCARE® NPWT system case study please click here.