Determining the needs of the served population and establishing a cost-effective and efficient product inventory is important. Chronic wounds may take months to heal so one may consider referral to wound care specialty practices. Carrying a large variety of dressings in the office setting may be unrealistic. A small stock of basic dressings is usually adequate. There are multiple medical supply companies that deliver ordered supplies to the home and bill insurance directly. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, most wound care lines consist of both baseline and advanced products. Remember that many product indications overlap and that several products may support the same goal.
Achieving a positive outcome often requires collaboration with community, family and ancillary services such as physical therapy or home care. When home care is in place, the agencies may have a wound care consultant available to assist with development of an optimal dressing plan. Be aware that home care agencies and rehab facilities may operate out of one specific product formulary so it is best to order wound care products by category (i.e. hydrocolloid, calcium alginate, etc.) rather than by product name. If the patient or family is expected to change the bandage at home, one should ensure the patient or family’s ability to understand instructions for dressing changes, including attention to infection control. Many areas have private home wound care consulting companies as additional resources.