Background: Wounds are a major health problem that can be costly to both the patient and facility. The proper treatment of a wound is guided by the measurements of the wound that show progress, stagnation, or worsening. In order to appropriately monitor the healing process of a wound, it is necessary that accurate and consistent measurements are obtained. Providing clinicians with accurate wound measurements aid in treatment decisions that improve the care of patients with wounds. The traditional and most-often used practice of wound measuring is manually using disposable rulers to obtain the length, width, and depth of each wound. If a different person is performing the measurement, the results of each wound may vary due to the difference in technique used by each individual. In order to be clinically useful, wound measurements must be reliable, repeatable, and accurate.
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to make the process of assessing wounds more efficient by decreasing the time spent on photographing, measuring, and documenting wound assessments by implementing the use of 3D-wound imaging technology and software. Using 3D-wound imaging technology can also provide accurate and consistent wound measurements.
Methods: Prior to the implementation of the 3D-wound technology, a baseline time of completing skin rounds assessments of wounds including imaging, measuring, and documentation was obtained. This baseline time was calculated by averaging the time it took to complete skin rounds in a 1-month period. After implementing the 3D-wound technology, average times to complete skin rounds were calculated at 1-, 2-, and 3-months.
Evaluation/results: Results are pending completion of the 3-month trial period.
Implications for practice: Streamlining the process of wound assessment and documentation by implementing the use of 3D-wound imaging technology can be rolled out to the entire hospital, including outpatient clinics. A more widespread use of the technology can lead to decreased manhours across the facility and therefore decreased costs.
Conclusion: Future studies can show how clinicians use the accurate data provided by the 3D-wound imaging device in making treatment decisions which can ultimately lead to faster healing and decreased hospital bed days.