Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wound Care Unit for all Sabah hospitals

KOTA KINABALU: The State Health Department has proposed the setting up of a Wound Care Unit in all hospitals in Sabah.
State health director Dr Christina Rundi said a Wound Care Unit had been set up in Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH1) as a start, but the department would ensure that the unit would be set up in all hospitals and specialist hospitals to provide the same level of treatment to patients in Sabah.
She said this in an interview after officiating at the opening ceremony of the 10th Sabah State Enterostomal Therapy (ET) Workshop 2014 (Wound Care) at QEH here yesterday.
The three-day workshop, which ends on June 13, is organized by the Surgical Department of QEH, in collaboration with State Health Department.
ET is a specialized field of nursing that involves the care of patients with stomas, wounds and incontinence.
Christina said the circular of the Director General of Health in 2011 puts forth the guidelines to set up wound care teams in hospitals under the Malaysian Health Ministry (KKM).
She said that KKM issued the guidelines after conducting a study in seven hospitals in the country on the number of patients needing wound care back in 2010.
Results of the study show that 6.5 per cent (11,732) of total inpatients and 10 per cent (16,586) of total out-patients required wound care. The actual dressing time for wounds are found to be eight to 25 minutes for diabetic foot ulcer (10cm x 8cm), 20 to 60 minutes for pressure sore (15cm in diameter) and 15 to 25 minutes for traumatic wound.
“The cost of dressing solutions and materials used was calculated to be RM1.5 million; this is a huge amount of money just for wound care.”
Christina pointed out that the number of patients needing wound care was on an upward trend. In 2013 alone, wound management for in-patients had increased from five patients in March to 66 patients in December.
She said the Wound Care Unit in QEH is aiming to reduce treatment costs of patients in terms of their duration of stay in the hospital and usage of wound dressing and medicine, as well as to cut down on infections due to long duration of stay in the hospital.
Since the setting up of the Wound Care Unit in QEH, Christina said wound care in the hospital has become more organized as there is now a team tasked with caring for patients with wounds before they were sent to the hospital, or during medical treatment in the hospital.
In addition, the hospital could collect data on wound care, which has shown that the number of patients requiring wound care is on the rise, she said.
Besides wound care, Christina said the unit was also responsible for organizing trainings such as the workshop yesterday, where they could impart information on modern methods of wound care and devices.
“We also invite those from health clinics to participate in this workshop because when patients are discharged from hospitals, they need to continue their wound care in health clinics. So we want to ensure that wound care in hospitals and health clinics are of the same standard,”she said.
The objective of the workshop was to enhance the knowledge and skills among nurses in wound care. The event also focused on the importance of wound care to a patient’s quality of life. The workshop includes talks, practical sessions and presentation by the participants.
Although the job of an ET specialist nurse is demanding and sometimes stressful, Christina said it could lead to high job satisfaction.
“Many nurses are able to give treatment and support to patients till the patients can return to their previous roles like before. It is a great satisfaction to see the joy of patients when they are finally able to conduct their daily activities again.”
Also present were KKM Wound Care Programme chief Mohd Anuar Hau Abdullah, Malaysia Society of Wound Care Professional president Dr Harikrishna K. R Nair, QEH director Dr Heric Corray and QEH Wound Care Unit chief Dr Yap Jiann Wen.

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