NewsProtease diagnostic in wound care: round-table meeting

Protease diagnostic in wound care: round-table meeting

Complex wounds, Infection, Service delivery

Protease diagnostic in wound care: round-table meeting The National Health Service (NHS) has undergone significant changes in recent years with clinicians constantly encouraged to work in 'leaner' ways, reducing costs and increasing productivity without compromising the quality of care delivered (Department of Health [DH], 2011). Meeting this challenge is about achieving the highest possible value from the resources available. The Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme is all about ensuring that each pound spent is used to bring maximum benefit and quality of care to patients (DH, 2010a).

In order to do this, clinicians need to ensure that patients are seen by the right person at the right point in time, and that they have a full assessment before instigation of treatment. This round table meeting focused on key issues in introducing a new point of care (PoC) diagnostic test, which tie in with the stated objectives of the 2010 White Paper, 'Equity and Excellence Liberating the NHS' (DH, 2010b) of putting the patient at the heart of care, delivering improved healthcare outcomes and empowering healthcare professionals to improve quality.

Throughout the text it is evident that the clinicians involved are used to working in a broad range of circumstances with
healthcare professionals whose knowledge and experience vary. They are striving to ensure that any innovation is introduced in the best way for all concerned. The algorithm that they have produced shows how the patient drives care, and the frequent review points guide the clinician to focus on whether or not they are achieving the expected outcome.

Crucial within this system is the need to ensure appropriate use of the test to guide delivery of what may appear to be 'expensive' care based on the unit cost of the product, but which, in reality, has the potential to produce not only cost-savings, but also improved patient outcomes. This document poses almost as many questions as it answers, but serves to provide clinicians with a framework from which to work when introducing this exciting new piece of technology.

Jacqui Fletcher,
Senior Professional Tutor
Department of Dermatology and Wound Healing
Cardiff University
October, 2011 

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