Healthcare Headlines Blog

The Complex Wound Challenge

Complex wounds represent a growing challenge to the healthcare community. 

As patients age and develop an increasing number of comorbidities, including diabetes and obesity, they are more prone to developing wounds and to experiencing longer, more complex recoveries.[1] Chronic wound patients also often experience psychological side effects such as loneliness and depression, which can further impede the healing process and contribute to readmissions.[2] In today’s healthcare environment, the lack of standard treatment and formal education on wound care has had a detrimental effect on patient outcomes and treatment costs, which are estimated to be more than $28 billion each year for the Medicare population alone.[3]

Transitioning Wound Care Patients to Specialized Settings

Discharge decisions can have a significant impact on patients, hospitals, and payors.

In one recent case study, two hospitals reduced wound patients’ lengths of stay, readmissions, and care costs by establishing a process of early evaluation and timely discharge to settings with high standards of wound care quality.[4]

According to wound care research, quality wound care programs should include patient-centeredness, formal wound care training, team-based treatment, and standard protocols.[5]

Advanced Wound Care at Kindred Hospitals

Kindred Hospitals, which provide physician-led, long-term acute care for complex patients, offer wound patients ICU-level treatment, including IV pain management and debridement, and access to services such as pharmacies and rehabilitation.

Because Kindred Hospitals are licensed as acute care specialty hospitals, stable wound patients can be transferred to Kindred while they are still in critical condition, reducing their lengths of stay. 

At Kindred, patients benefit from an advanced wound care program that reflects the characteristics of a quality program mentioned above.

  • Formal Wound Care Training: All wound care coordinators are certified in advanced wound care.
  • Patient Centeredness:
  • Physicians visit patients daily and interdisciplinary care teams meet at the bedside to discuss care plans with the patient and family.
  • Care continues after discharge through the AfterCare program, in which representatives communicate with patients after they leave Kindred and answer questions about discharge orders, medications, equipment, and primary care appointments. An analysis of the AfterCare program results reflected that patient needs were identified and addressed in 71% of post-discharge engagements in 2023, potentially preventing a significant number of avoidable readmissions.[6]
  • Team-Based Treatment: Interdisciplinary care teams of physicians specializing in wound care, certified nurses, nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, and other specialists provide coordinated treatment.
  • Standard Protocols: Our wound care program includes:
  • Immediate wound care assessment upon admission
  • Robust turning and repositioning programs
  • Multi-treatment options for chronic and acute wounds
  • Regular screening for sepsis development
  • Routine assessment for appropriate therapeutic surfaces
  • Replacement schedule for therapeutic surfaces

Additionally, Kindred Hospital San Antonio Central has become the first hospital in South Central Texas and the third hospital in the state to receive a Disease-Specific Care Certification in Wound Care from The Joint Commission.

With our specialty in treating critically ill patients, and our advanced wound care initiatives, Kindred is an important site of care for complex wound patients. Early transfer of complex wound patients to a Kindred Hospital can help promote healing, while reducing inpatient lengths of stay and avoidable readmissions.

Learn more about how Kindred Hospitals can help your complex wound patients.






[6] Kindred Internal Data, Engagements with patients who discharged to home 

By Dr. Dean French, MD, CPPS