Complex wound care management is provided on a day-to-day basis in skilled-nursing facilities, such as in the four long-term-care campuses of Lutheran Homes Society (LHS). In order to better serve the needs of residents, LHS has partnered with the Division of Vascular/Endovascular and Wound Care Surgery at The University of Toledo (UT), UT Physicians group, and The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center to provide this service within the facilities.
"There is a large demand for wound-care services," stated Dr. Munier Nazzal, FACS, director of the UTMC Wound Care Center. "This program will enable us to provide help and support to these patients with chronic, non-healing wounds. Our goal is to make the LHS facilities into recognized centers of excellence for wound care."
The program has been implemented on the Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek and Lutheran Home at Toledo campuses and will expand to Lutheran Home at Napoleon and Lutheran Memorial Home in Sandusky within the next few months.
The program is designed to minimize and prevent wounds and ulcers in patients and ensure that patients are well taken care of at the facility to avoid hospitalization. Nurse Practitioner Kelly Inthanamith, NP-C, comes to the facilities weekly and meets with patients. She communicates in real time through a computer with specialists in the UTMC Wound Care Center.
"We are coming to the patients in the facility to provide the earliest intervention possible," Ms. Inthanamith explained. "We are opening the direct channels of communication for patients."
"We are embracing this partnership because anyone who enters one of our facilities has medical care needs that put them at a high risk for skin breakdown," stated Donna Konst, LHS Senior Vice President for Elder Care Services. "We will be very proactive in our skin care management processes so residents and patients get the specialized care they need."
As the wound care program develops, Dr. Nazzal hopes to obtain grant funding to provide more nurse practitioners and diagnostic services.
Lutheran Homes Society is a social ministry organization based in Toledo, Ohio, that has been serving the unique needs of youth and elderly since 1860. Today, more than 2,500 individuals located throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan benefit from the residential and community services offered through LHS ministries.