Wound management to prevent SSIs? There's an app for that

Researchers from the Wisconsin Institute of Surgical Outcomes Research and University of Wisconsin created WoundCare, a smartphone application that allows patients to send surgical wound pictures to remote nurses, HealthCareBusiness reports. Both organizations are based in Madison, Wis.

Here's what you should know:

1. The app aims to improve surgical site infection detection, and in turn, prevent hospital readmissions.

2. Researchers tested the app's effectiveness through a 40-patient study. Approximately 90.2 percent of patients submitted data through the app. Researchers identified seven wound complications and only had one false positive.

3. Patients were enthusiastic about the app, and reported feeling "reassured" that their wounds were regularly monitored.

4. Nurse practitioners saw the value of reviewing the images, but noted finding time to do so was difficult.

UW Madison's Rebecca Gunter, MD, said, "We set out to come up with a protocol where patients could become active participants in their care and allow us to be in closer communication and monitor their wounds after they leave the hospital. This approach allows us to intervene at an earlier time rather than waiting for patients to come back in after the problem has already developed past the point of being able to manage it on an outpatient basis."

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