Risk of Diabetic Foot Ulcer Amputations Set to Increase

The advantages of a wound EMR system are being realized in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). The number of people with diabetes is set to double in the coming two decades, according to studies by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The agency is aiming at reducing amputations caused by diabetic foot ulcers, and is analyzing whether employing the Online Wound Electronic Medical Record (OWEMR) as clinical intervention can reduce DFU amputations.

Foot ulcers are the most common cause for hospital stays for diabetic individuals. For evaluating the benefits of the OWEMR, the AHRQ planned to launch a randomized multi-center controlled clinical trial. The reason for this move is the fact that issues with information coordination and integration of the various clinical providers have inhibited the implementation of a standard of care for treating DFUs. A dedicated EMR for wound treatment is certainly the right way forward. An online EMR facilitates better evidence-based care through wound size measurements and digital photography.

Foot Ulcers One of the Common Results of Diabetes

As doctors would know, a diabetic foot ulcer is a result of diabetes mellitus. This adversely affects the natural wound healing process that repairs the lost ECM (extracellular matrix) which is the major element of the skin. A prolonged period of inflammation has been observed, which delays mature granulation tissue from forming while reducing the wound tensile strength.

Dressings, removal of dead tissue – debridement, and removal of wound pressure through various techniques are essential wound management procedures. In certain cases, surgery may be required. In any case, efficient wound care management is critical. Foot ulcers could even take months to heal, which is why constant monitoring is required, and that’s where an efficient wound EMR helps.

How Wound EMR Comes to the Picture

The great thing about a dedicated EMR for wounds is that it is customizable. It has wound care templates built in for recording the various procedures including debridement and synthetic skin application. These templates ensure more comprehensive and thorough wound documentation to help specialists to carefully examine the DFUs of their patients to help them make important and timely decisions that could make a vital difference in the outcome.

An efficient wound EMR integrates relevant clinical data and quantitative measures such as healing rates to present an objective and quantitative wound evaluation.

  • The effectiveness of the debridement or other procedures can be analyzed through sequential measurements.
  • The chronic and non-healing nature of a wound is indicated to the physicians through the automated alert mechanism.
  • The photo archiving feature enables taking pictures of wounds before and after a procedure has been performed. Photos can be taken at each visit and from various angles. This helps document the healing process.
  • Another remarkable feature about the system is the separate nurse and physician interface. Nurses can update the system from their side and physicians can do likewise. They can also refer notes from each other to provide more effective treatment.
  • Customized reports will enable speeding up of wound care procedures.

In every sense, a wound EMR is the way forward for a more comprehensive and effective wound treatment.