Nancy Morgan, RN, BSN, MBA, WOCN, WCC, DWC, OMS, CWCMS, is co-owner and clinical instructor of the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI). WCEI provides comprehensive training in skin, wound, diabetic and ostomy management, and offers certification credentials that help you differentiate from other advanced wound care providers. Certifications available are:
- Certified Wound Care Marketing Specialist (CWCMS), which is for DMEs or non-clinicians
- Wound Care Certification (WCC)
- Diabetic Wound Care (DWC)
- Ostomy Management Specialist (OMS)
According to Morgan, who has been educating the advanced wound care industry for more than 10 years, the DME market in general is moving toward quality over quantity and advanced wound care needs to follow suit. The key to this is education.
For example, the clinical practice guidelines of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) specify that if a patient has a wound and it is not making progress after two weeks, the treatment plan must be reevaluated.
"The days of using one product for eight months with no outcomes is over," Morgan said. "Under these new guidelines we have to move faster and stronger than we ever had before." She then pointed out that the majority of DME providers don't have the knowledge to make these fast moves, and may not even know about the guidelines.
Being better educated not only can help your knowledge base -- it also can help expand your business. Even though the guidelines are targeted at patient facilities, understanding advanced wound care protocols will assist you with attaining referral partners.
As an example, Morgan shared a story of a patient with a heel ulcer who was being treated at a long-term care facility that didn't know the new NPUAP guidelines and hadn't changed treatment after the patient's heel showed no progress. According to the guidelines, the next step would be a special boot that offloads the heel to ensure the area is free of pressure forces. When state surveyors made an unannounced visit to the facility, they tagged the facility for not following proper protocol. Morgan explained that if DME providers understood the guidelines they could be educating long-term care facilities, becoming referral partners and selling them the boots and other advanced wound care products.