by Audrey Kinsella
A new wound care service company, Corstrata, based in Savannah, Georgia, is using advanced tele-techniques well beyond simply capturing clear pictures of wounds and assessing their progression. “A picture is worth a thousand words” does not come close to expressing the clarity made available by teletools, nor the advantage of having them delivered to home health clinicians and analyzed by Corstrata's certified wound care nurses.
We recently interviewed CEO and cofounder Katherine F. Piette on the company's first anniversary about her vision for the company, which is to push at-home wound care to higher levels. Corstrata is doing this with telecommunications-ready videography and a wide geographical delivery of needed care.
Currently, the U.S. wound care industry costs $33 billion per year, and it serves over 6.5 million patients, many living with complex, non-healing wounds. It is a population projected to grow to 8.7 million.
Piette’s focus on using telecommunications-ready tools and board-certified wound care experts is key to achieving its vision of providing expert wound care anytime, anywhere. These nurses will demonstrate the use of telehealth-focused services to:
Reaching these ambitious goals requires that focused, tele-wound care educational segments be put in place, Plette asserted.
Educational segment 1
Corstrata-affiliated wound care experts teach healthcare at home nurses advanced wound care management techniques for targeting care for specific non-healing, complex wounds. Teaching tools used include:
Educational Segment 2
A second tele-wound care educational segment must involve training in-home nurses in advanced wound care management techniques. These are wounds that include diabetic and venous ulcers, pressure sores, and other conditions. Videos and still photographs of a range of wounds are presented and discussed with learners by the experts.
Work in wound exacerbation prevention must also be covered. Trainees, for example, are shown where and how often body temperature of a diabetic patient’s foot should be measured and steps that need to be taken to prevent development of pain and the need for amputation.
Directions ahead for alternate site tele-woundcare
We can say with some certainty that Corstrata has the potential to move telehealth into the mainstream of wound care. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of earlier home telehealth projects were limited to relatively short-term, grant-funded demonstration projects, with small groups of persons with particular chronic diseases.
This is not the path that Corstrata intends to follow. Instead, the company’s leaders plan to develop hub tele-wound care sites with multiple agencies providing expert education and services, using their own trainers and
practitioners. Hub site participants will not spend valuable time seeing if tele-wound care "works," but will instead be learning from proven cases where tele-wound care has been shown to work. The ultimate aim is to relieve the pain and wound progression of patients currently living with diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, and other wounds.
Audrey Kinsella, MA, MS, is HCTR's telemedicine reporter. She has written on home telehealthcare and new technologies for home care service delivery for 20 years, in 6 books, multiple web sites, and more than 150 published articles. Audrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-348-5308.
©2016 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. email@example.com