There are more than 7 million chronic wound patients in wound centers, nursing homes, and home health care. Most patients are requested to visit a specialist at least once a week. Those visits represent 100+ million interactions between patient and doctor.

Vicki Fischenich, MSN, GNP-BC, is Clinical Director of Osnovative Systems in Santa Clara, CA, and serves industry leaders. She is a wound care expert and has used WoundWiseIQ in her capacity as a clinical consultant.

Vicki reviewed her experience with WoundWiseIQ and the potential for improved patient outcomes and a more efficient and effective caregiver process and treatment that she envisions resulting from the implementation of WoundWiseIQ’s service.

Interviewer: Currently healthcare facilities (whether outpatient, inpatient, acute or long-term care settings providing wound care or post-surgical rehab care) have many responsibilities for documenting, reporting, and recognizing when primary providers need updates on the condition of patients. Caring for post-surgical incision sites while caring for the wound care patients themselves can affect the accuracy, timeliness and consistency of data collection. Much of wound documentation is still a very manual, painstaking process performed by nurses who collect data in written format on paper. Sometimes they take pictures, sometimes a ruler for sizing is included; however, when wounds and surgical incision sites are measured there is often data inconsistency subject to the person collecting.

The placement of the ruler at the right wound level by different nurses may lack a consistent practice and lends itself to interpretation and therefore a lack of consistent data collection. In some places, big bulky cameras can measure and document the wound, but they are expensive and not mobile. The patient currently must travel to a wound care center or physician office for a follow up to get a picture, and then return again for follow up on the wound or surgical site. How are things different with WoundWiseIQ?

Vicki: WoundWiseIQ opens up the telemedicine opportunity for wound care and post-surgical rehab hospitals and long-term care. Imagine, the patient can be at a rehab hospital in upper Wisconsin. The medical expert in wound care or surgeon can be in Chicago or on the West Coast. With this new technology, a nurse in Wisconsin can snap a photo and collect all the metrics, which show the wound or surgical incision site measurements and report immediate changes. WoundWiseIQ is a very powerful tool for early identification and physician intervention. This information can be obtained accurately and eliminate inconsistency every time the dressing is changed. WoundWiseIQ makes it easy and low cost to capture data and report trending, and it is HIPAA-compliant. Surgeons can keep an eye on high-risk surgical sites, nurses can document and send information to the provider who is responsible for the care and medical director in charge of facility or clinical nurse officer (CNO) and vice or versus the medical director and CNO stay inform on their patient care.

Interviewer: Did you find WoundWiseIQ easy to use?

Vicki: The WoundWiseIQ solution is very customizable and easy to use. A nurse or clinician can just snap a picture of the site with an iPhone (nothing stores to the individual’s phone, data is sent to the cloud). The HIPAA compliant access is password protected for only the providers to access. The system measures and records the data points of the wound or surgical incision site. The nurse can then review it, make comments, and send it on to a physician, care team, or clinical care supervisor. You can get live, quality data immediately. If there is something wrong with the wound or something is going wrong, the doctor or clinical director knows it immediately and can take appropriate action. It doesn’t take days or weeks.

Interviewer: An essential aspect of medical care today is to balance effectiveness with cost of care. How do you face this challenge?

Vicki: WoundWiseIQ is powerful and gives medical experts and referring physicians’ eyes into what is happening day to day with patients. A doctor cannot be everywhere. That isn’t cost effective or even possible—but they do need to find out immediately when something is going wrong—especially in the follow-up of a surgical patient. Why wait until a problem causes hospital readmission? That’s terrible for the patient and bad for the hospital. Readmission penalties are steep and costly. Patients feel safer when they know their provider is keeping a watchful eye of their wound or their surgical incision site. Sometimes their wounds or incision sites are in a body location that the patient might not be able to see due to location.

WoundWiseIQ is a way to prevent problems in post-surgical patients. With WoundWiseIQ, they can get immediate images with measurements of the surgical site. Is it closing or open? Are there signs of infection? Is there something that must be addressed immediately? The medical team can respond quickly to keep a surgical site from complication and improve patient care and hopefully avoid

Interviewer: Can you see other opportunities for doctors and other healthcare professionals to improve patient care and efficiency with WoundWiseIQ?

Vicki: Yes. For example, you could use WoundWiseIQ to document the progress of an incision on postoperative hip replacement, abdominal surgery, or open-heart surgical incision sites. It does not have to be on an open wound but on any surgical incision site. This is very important as well for acute hospitals that dismiss to rehabilitation hospitals or any continuum of care. Acute hospitals are responsible and will have economic impacts for patient readmitted up to 90 days of dismissal from acute hospital sites. WoundWiseIQ gives the referring physician a way to know how the patient is doing without having to transport that patient to his office (which is difficult and expensive, especially for elderly patients). The surgeon can change orders based on images or recommendation based on the images of surgical incisions and wound progress.

This platform is also a useful tool for research. In research, one of the most important things is consistency and accuracy in documenting the images, collecting data, and in reporting; most importantly early identification of changes and notification to the provider. With the WoundWiseIQ platform, researchers can snap the picture, and the system will fill in the data points. This prevents errors and eliminates subjective data. Remote researches can control multiple site trials and have immediate access to trial site data. Wound care product suppliers can benefit from this in terms of efficiency, control, and accuracy of data.

To learn more about the latest developments in wound imaging and view a demonstration of this powerful tool to improve patient care, visit customerVicki Fischenich (RN, MSN, GNP-BC, WCC) and her company were the first customer of WoundWiseIQ, and she and her team were instrumental in providing valuable feedback to improve the first version of the product and move it to the next level.  Vicki has directed clinical affairs for several wound care companies, and has managed clinical trials, customer education, communication, and support in those roles. She supports customers with wound care consultations, reviews products and materials to optimize training and clinical effectiveness, and serves as a primary liaison with healthcare professionals. In Vicki’s 25+ years in the medical field, she has developed expertise in the clinical management of wounds, new product studies, and in the development of wound care prevention and treatment protocols. Vicki received her Bachelor of Science in Radiology Technology from Midwestern State University, and her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Nursing from Texas Tech Health Science Center in Lubbock, Texas.