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Modelling the economic benefits of gold standard care for chronic wounds in a community setting
journal contributionposted on 13.02.2019, 00:00 by N Graves, K Finlayson, M Gibb, Maria O'Reilly, H Edwards
Chronic leg ulcers are costly to manage for health service providers. Although evidence-based care leads to improved healing rates and reduced costs, a significant evidence-practice gap is known to exist. Lack of access to specialist skills in wound care is one reason suggested for this gap. The aim of this study was to model the change to total costs and health outcomes under two versions of health services for patients with leg ulcers: routine health services for community-living patients; and care provided by specialist wound clinics. Mean weekly treatment and health services costs were estimated from participants' data (n=70) for the 12 months prior to their entry to a study specialist wound clinic, and prospectively for 24 weeks after entry. For the retrospective phase, mean weekly costs of care were A$130.30 (SD $12.64) and these fell to A$53.32 (SD $6.47) for the prospective phase. Analysis at a population level suggests if 10,000 individuals receive 12 weeks of specialist evidence-based care, the cost savings are likely to be A$9,238,800. Significant savings could be made by the adoption of evidence-based care such as that provided by the community and outpatient specialist wound clinics in this study.