The internet is bringing us closer
23/05/11 | Complex wounds
Suzie Calne highlights the ongoing conversation about clinicians’ roles in wound care, as discussed at the Wounds International conference and now on the online virtual conference
It's not everyday that you get a private audience with an eminent wound care clinician from a completely different part the world. But that's exactly what happened to me last Monday afternoon in Cambridge, UK, when I watched Prisca Adejumo, a lecturer in nursing from Nigeria, discussing one of her patients - a woman with breast malignancy who was so terrified when her doctor informed her she would need bilateral mastectomies that she actually ran away.
But this wasn't some kind of long-distance consultation. Prisca's remarkable story was one of the presentations given at the first Wounds International conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, in February, all of which are now freely available to view online. Hence the fact that I was able to watch Prisca's pressure ulcer presentation from the comfort of my office (Click here to go to the Virtual conference).
Our online event offers a further dimension to the content of the Wounds International website and the objectives which underpinned the conference from the very start - that the content would have longevity and be available to clinicians all over the world - have now become a reality.
In addition to the many informative presentations, symposiums and Made Easy sessions that are now available online, related resources such as consensus documents, best practice statements and Made Easy articles, are linked to each presentation to help visitors navigate their way through the plethora of free educational material available on the site.
Prisca's case also highlights the need for clinicians to help patients understand disease and its management. This is why it was so important, that as part of the Cape Town conference, a group of multidisciplinary clinicians gathered in a round table discussion to debate how to optimise patient wellbeing at the same time as providing wound management. Those attending the meeting urged that clinicians should always listen to the patient and a new model of care was presented placing the clinician, rather than the patient, at the centre of the healthcare experience.This requires that as well as being the patient's advocate, clinicians must be able to perform effective assessment, as a misdiagnosed wound can have a major impact on the patient's wellbeing.
As the science of wound healing continues to develop, so do the opportunities for improved diagnostics. The role of proteases in wound healing was also debated in Cape Town by an international group of key opinion leaders. The resulting consensus document, The role of proteases in wound diagnostics, highlights the value of measuring the protease activity in wounds and suggests that the effective use of a point-of-care protease test kit in clinical practice has the potential to change wound care globally. As illustrated in the document's exemplars, it is not possible to accurately predict protease levels by clinical observation alone, yet protease activity is the best available marker for impaired healing. The document will be available to download at www.woundsinternational.com from the beginning of June.
Continuing the theme of internet-based learning, Wounds International invites you to attend the first in a series of interactive webcasts on Wednesday 8 June, 2011. This will focus on the dual challenges of improving clinical and economic outcomes in hard-to-heal wounds and features presentations from internationally recognised speakers as well as a live question and answer session. Register at http://webcasts.woundsinternational.com
Credit for the vision of the Cape Town event goes to a team of individuals, but special thanks must go to Edward Rusling for his commitment to getting the project off the ground. It has been announced that Edward Rusling (business director) and David Gray (clinical director) are moving on to new challenges, although David will be retaining a consultancy role with us. The team would like to wish them the best of luck in their new endeavours.
Editor, Wounds International