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November 25, 2014 bchc-news

Comprehensive Wound Care Center

The Buchanan County Health Center Board of Trustees approved plans to create a Comprehensive Wound Care Center at its October meeting.

Medical Staff Chair Dr. Rick McCormick stated that the availability of specialized wound care services is something that is needed in the area. In the past, wound care services had been offered through the BCHC Specialty Clinic. While these providers have served our community well, wound care achieves optimal outcomes when it receives a comprehensive focus with expert personnel and evidenced based practice guidelines, according to Chief Executive Officer, Steve Slessor.

To achieve this goal, Slessor proposed that the hospital remodel some currently unused space, adjacent to the Specialty Clinic, to create a 2,000 square foot Comprehensive Would Care Center. The wound center would include reception space, 3 or 4 clinic treatment rooms, as well as one or two hyperbaric chambers.

BCHC will partner with Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. Healogics currently manages wound services at area hospitals in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Dubuque. Patient origination information, compiled by Healogics, indicates that wound care patients from Buchanan, Fayette and Delaware counties are not traveling to these communities to receive Comprehensive Wound Care. In fact, travel may be a barrier keeping them from receiving the highest quality of care available.

“Chronic wounds can require aggressive care for an extended period of time,” Slessor explained. “By offering this service locally, we will limit the time investment and travel expense for our patients.”

Slessor indicated that many wound care patients would likely be diabetic. According to Healogics, diabetes affects eight percent of the total U.S. population and 26 percent of all Americans over 65. The incidence of chronic wounds, especially foot ulcers, increases among those diagnosed with diabetes. Patients with diabetes are ten times more likely to require amputation at some point in their lives. Each year, nationally approximately 70,000 diabetics will undergo amputation. Healogics goal is to reduce this number.

As part of its partnership with BCHC, Healogics will provide Wound care equipment including hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers, program management, wound care training, reimbursement assistance and access to evidenced based practice guidelines for wound care.  BCHC will provide the clinic space, a medical provider and other staff. The estimated cost to begin the service is $400,000. BCHC is estimating 130 patient visits in the first year of operation. Anticipated start date in Summer 2015.

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