Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) Helps Acute Care Educator Take Wound Care from “Excellent” to “Remarkable”

Wound Care Provides A Process Improvement Opportunity

“If you told me years ago that I would be into wound [care], I would have said you were crazy.”

–Sarah Clayson

Finger Lakes Health is a multi-institutional healthcare system providing a full range of acute and long-term care health services in upstate New York. Sarah Clayson is the Acute Care Education Coordinator and Wound Care Champion for Finger Lakes Health (FLH). In this role, Sarah assists in the advancement of clinical education and implementation of evidenced based practices.

 “If you told me years ago that I would be into wound [care], I would have said you were crazy,” says Sarah. “But when asked by the VP of Nursing, to review wound processes and work with implementing new processes and training, I found a new love in nursing. I have really enjoyed working with patients and staff related to wound care. I have become the wound champion and I love it!”

Making Strides with Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

As part of her initiative to take her wound care department from “excellent” to “remarkable,” Sarah trialed several new wound vac technologies, including Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) systems from Medela. A great, interdisciplinary wound care committee was created. The members review processes, products and, as a team, help change practice.

“I was tasked with not only educating wound care nurses on our new system of choice, but leading the evaluation of said system,” said Sarah. “Care transition, quality, and operability were crucial. Fortunately, Medela – through their stellar product, but more importantly, through their white glove service and education initiatives – helped us reach our goals.” The team wanted to ensure continuity in care of patients transitioning between acute and long-term care. Other key points were the ease of use of the pumps for the staff, and that the pump was so quiet. The Medela team provided great in-services to the care team.

As the Finger Lakes Health team moved from trial to implementation, Medela’s clinical support specialists provided Sarah and the nursing team with comprehensive knowledge and hands-on training. The robust training was provided to the entire wound care team, guiding new users through critical moments, including complex wound dressing and overall management of patients with complex wounds.

Today, the Medela team provides Finger Lakes Health nurses with intensive, hands-on training through skills days, frequent as-needed service visits, and patient specific guidance to help onboard, troubleshoot, provide clinical insight, or procure supplies.

Medela has been amazing, both to work with and to help me grow in the wound care field.  Beyond training the team and providing constant, ongoing support, they’ve been my personal cheerleader – and a big part of my decision to go back to school and become a certified wound care nurse.”

Transition to Medela's NPWT system - Sarah

Wound Care Approach Through Collaboration

Beyond training my team and providing constant, ongoing support, [Carol] has been my personal cheerleader – and a big part of my decision to go back to school and become a certified wound care nurse.”
–Sarah Clayson

The FLH team has had several opportunities to collaborate with the Medela support team. As a result, FLH has produced success stories where patients greatly benefited from NPWT. From acute to chronic wounds, NPWT has become a great tool to use for patients. Surgical patients, complex wound patients, ostomy patients with dermal erosion, chronic complex wounds, and more have been successfully treated.

Today, Sarah and Carol, her dedicated support specialist, work together frequently to talk out wounds, challenges, troubleshoot wound healing, how to craft complex wound dressings, and how to utilize Invia Liberty NPWT system to the fullest extent. 

“Having the Medela team a phone call away is extremely helpful. This really helps drive therapy confidence on the front line of patient care. Through the collaboration with Medela, the entire team learns tricks of the trade and elevates evidenced based practices.”

Looking to the Future

“As we set out to elevate our wound care standards even further, Medela was with us every step of the way.”
–Sarah Clayson

The device’s accessibility, usability, and support is provided to the front line nurses. The world of wound care is always changing and the Medela team assists in process change. Through a great collaboration with Medela, we are always working to improve the patient experience.

“With the technologies, training, and support we have in place, we can provide a continuum of care that improves quality of life for patients and caregivers alike. We promise to provide our patients with a stellar care experience, and with the help of Medela, we’re proud to keep delivering on that promise.”

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

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