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Jul 30, 2019

Wound care and hyperbaric products - too much to choose from, too little time

It has been reported that at least 50% of chronic wounds in the real world do not heal.[1] In an attempt to address this problem, several new wound care products are released every year. By 2025, it is estimated that more than USD 24 billion per year will be spent on advanced wound care products globally.[2] Despite the growing number of available wound products, strong clinical evidence supporting their use is relatively scarce, which makes product selection a challenging task for clinicians and patients.[3] As a result, in order to make sensible choices, clinicians need to rely on other several other variables, such as features, ease of use, personal and patient preference, pricing, coverage, accessibility, among others. 

The need for unbiased information to guide product decision-making is clear, however busy schedules frequently prevent clinicians from researching and obtaining all data that is needed for an informed decision. Information may be available, but it is often incomplete or biased by commercial interest.[4]

For instance, it is not uncommon for clinicians to spend valuable time at the point-of-care obtaining information on suppliers, insurance coverage and pricing for support surfaces, offloading devices and other non-routine items.[4] Insufficient information on a product may also contribute to suboptimal patient adherence to care plans. Clinicians are responsible for gathering this information and supplying appropriate education so that patients understand and fulfill their roles in treatment.[5] However, clinicians’ busy schedules and the lack of easily obtainable information are frequent obstacles to meeting these needs.[4]

Streamlining wound care and hyperbaric product choices 

In light of the needs described above, WoundReference Product Navigator was created with the mission to save clinicians time when navigating through the multitude of available products, and ultimately promote cost-effective wound care. To reinforce our commitment to this mission, we've made several features of the Product Navigator available for FREE to all healthcare professionals from the start (sign up for a Free Basic account to access WoundReference Product Navigator).

What is the Product Navigator?

WoundReference Product Navigator is a powerful, unbiased decision support tool for wound care and hyperbaric healthcare professionals. 

WoundReference does not take any advertisement, in order to remain free of commercial bias. 

What the Product Navigator is:  

  • more than a product guide, it is a live, point-of-care product decision support tool for wound care and hyperbaric healthcare professionals
  • an independent database with unbiased clinical, coverage, pricing, supplier information on over 2000 items used in wound care and HBOT. Unlike resources sponsored by manufacturers, the Product Navigator aggregates multiple brands and is manufacturer-agnostic 
  • frequently updated as new information arises - most product pages will be further expanded into robust, evidence-based product & technology assessments (e.g., see sample topics here and here)
  • developed by clinicians, for clinicians
  • responsive to users' requests for inclusion of new items 
  • free to all healthcare professionals 

What the Product Navigator is NOT

  • an e-commerce platform
  • an advertisement platform 
  • sponsored by manufacturers or product suppliers

How can the Product Navigator benefit clinicians and patients? 

Some of the benefits are listed below. For a demo on how to use the Product Navigator, please refer to "Webinar: How to find the right products for your patients". To find out how the Product Navigator can be customized to your practice, chat with us. For product suggestions please email editors@woundreference.com.

Finding products

Take a test drive: with so many options for cellular and/or tissue products (CTPs, or "skin substitutes"), how to we go about finding out what product options are available for each type of CTP, and their respective HCPCS codes?

On the Product Navigator, browse products or search by brand, category, manufacturer, HCPCS or keyword. See brands of similar products grouped by product category (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Browse or search products on the Product Navigator  


Viewing DME coverage information

Take a test drive: your venous leg ulcer Medicare patient needs his first set of gradient compression stockings. How do we go about finding out which stockings/ compression levels are covered by Medicare? What is the DME co-payment of gradient compression stockings for patients? 

Go to the Product NavigatorFor an overview of the product brand and its stock keeping unit (SKU) options, click on the first link of each product brand. Product Brand pages already aggregate valuable information and will continue to be further expanded with more clinical and coverage information.

Figure 2. For an overview on the product brand, click on the top link. For detailed information, click on the SKU links  


Figure 3. On the Product Brand page, find the Essentials table and click on the tab 'Produce Reimbursement' to see DME coverage information by state (in the U.S.)

Comparing similar products

Take a test drive: how do we find out which antimicrobial dressings have a wear time of up to 7 days and are indicated for low levels of wound exudate? 

From the Product Navigator, click on the grid icon () to access interactive Feature Comparison Matrices, as shown in Figure 4. Features such as wear time, and exudate levels can be dynamically selected to display only products that meet the desired clinical criteria.

Resources

  • WoundReference is a clinical and reimbursement decision support platform for hyperbaric and wound care professionals at the point-of-care. See more solutions for wound care professionals and solutions for hyperbaric professionals.
  • The WoundReference Product Navigator is always evolving. For feedback and requests for inclusions of new products please contact editors@woundreference.com. 
Explore our Wound Care and Hyperbaric Solutions