The concept of ‘wound balance’ is multifactorial, encompassing interconnecting issues related to the wound healing process and clinical practice. The wound balance concept aims to integrate various critical parameters which offer continuity, individualised care and supports clinical decision-making, to place the patient at the centre of all care
The wound balance approach aims to provide clinicians with the information to understand the science of wound healing, in addition to the skills in how to communicate this effectively with patients to help them to get the best out of their treatments and, ultimately, achieve good clinical outcomes
A change in the way we think about and discuss wounds is needed, focusing on healing, where appropriate – as opposed to managing wounds – ultimately this can reduce the cumulative burden of wounds, easing the pressure and psychological stress on both patients and clinicians.
This document provides guidance in achieving ‘wound balance’, and specifically how this can be applied to practice to improve outcomes. The goals are to help clinicians in:
- Understanding the science of wound healing
- Identification of what may be preventing a wound from progressing, including external factors, and healing wound barriers
- Identification of chronic or non-healing wound potential at assessment rather than waiting for up to 12 weeks, which is sometimes deemed the time frame for a wound to be considered chronic; however, this is a range and countries have varying timeframes
- Understanding the importance of adopting a patient-centred approach, thereby identifying the patient’s individual needs, and ensuring that the patient is at the centre of all decision-making processes – a process that starts at the beginning and continues at every stage of the patient journey
- Using positive language to optimise wound healing rather than just managing wounds
- Taking into consideration and measuring patient quality of life and the impact of living with a wound to improve outcomes and build evidence.
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- Applying the knowledge gained to achieve outcomes in an appropriate and timely manner.