Saving health care resources, improving quality of care for Canadians is focus of national wound care meeting
CALGARY, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Improving patient care and saving health care dollars is the focus of more than 600 wound care professionals attending the 16th Annual Professional Wound Care Conference of the Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC) in Calgary, November 4 to 7.
More than $3.6-billion is spent annually to treat acute and chronic wounds. Nearly 50 per cent of all treatment costs in hospitals, community care and long-term care facilities are related to wound care for people living with diabetes, arthritis, cancer, Crohn's Disease, colitis or HIV/AIDS.
The theme of the conference is the treatment and prevention of diabetes foot ulcers, neuropathy and wounds to improve the quality of patient care and the effectiveness of service delivery by health care professionals. More than 345,000 Canadians with diabetes will develop a preventable foot ulcer. Treatment of one diabetes foot ulcer is $8,000 and if infected, rises to $17,000 on average. Treating diabetes foot ulcers alone costs the Canadian healthcare system over $2.5-billion annually.
"Most people think of wounds as resulting from wars, disasters or car accidents, and therefore don't affect many of us," said Dr. Karen Philp, CAWC's Chief Executive Officer. "We need to think again. Wounds are not only personally devastating to patients and their families, but also affect all Canadians in their impact on treatments costs, waiting times for hospital beds and the tragic loss of lives and limbs."
Significant savings can be achieved if wound management and prevention strategies that focus on education and public awareness are implemented by governments. The best available evidence is already translated into 'best practice' recommendations.
"However, there is an urgent need for health care professionals to be supported with education and information on how to implement these best practices, whether they work in hospitals, community care or long-term care," said Philp.
Knowing how to better prevent and care for wounds will reduce patient suffering and the amount of time spent treating the wound clinically. This in turn helps reduce workloads and allows for the reallocation of scarce health care dollars elsewhere in the system.
"Investing today in improved wound management and prevention will pay immediate dividends," said Philp. "Looking forward, providing better patient care will free up resources to help sustain Canada's healthcare system for our children and their children."
At this year's conference world experts will share the latest research and information on best practices, as well as identify the priorities for government action to improve the patient and family experience in diabetes foot ulcer and wound management and prevention.
The Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC), founded in 1995, is committed to making significant improvements to the health of Canadians through improved wound management and prevention. The CAWC annual professional wound care conference is the largest meeting on wound management in Canada, attracting the widest range of health care professionals under one roof: doctors, surgeons, nurses, chiropodists, podiatrists, occupational therapists, administrators, researchers and industry exhibitors.
The Canadian Association of Wound Care
16th Annual Professional Wound Care Conference
4 to 7 November 2010
Calgary TELUS Convention Centre
120 Ninth Avenue SE , Calgary, AB
The CAWC Conference is open to media. CAWC leadership and major conference speakers will be available for remote and/or on-site media interviews . Interview arrangements can be made by contacting Alan Pryde in English or French at 613-293-4174 (in Calgary from 2 November 2010).
The four-day CAWC Conference brings together a broad cross-section of health-care stakeholders rarely found in one place at one time: physicians; nurses; allied healthcare professionals; administrators; researchers; patients; caregivers; government officials; social workers; and industry representatives.
For further information:
Media Relations, CAWC