assessment, barriers, healing, infection, primary care, skin, wound care



  1. Hunt, Sarah C. MSc
  2. Azad, Sanjay MD, MS, FRCS (Ed)


GENERAL PURPOSE: The purpose of this continuing education article is to introduce the ABCDEFGHI approach to wound assessment and management.


TARGET AUDIENCE: This continuing education activity is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses with an interest in skin and wound care.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES/OUTCOMES: After participating in this educational activity, the participant will:


1. Distinguish barriers to wound healing.


2. Summarize best practices for wound treatment strategies.


3. Explain the usefulness of complete blood count results during a wound investigation.


4. Identify a major factor to consider when deciding on a referral for wound management.


ABSTRACT: The ABCDEFGHI approach introduces a systematic approach to wound care. It instructs the clinician to Ask pertinent questions, including those that may identify local and systemic Barriers to wound healing. After obtaining a thorough history, the clinician may proceed to Clean the wound and Do a physical examination, specifically looking for Exposed structures and Factors that will complicate the healing process. Good Healing strategies involving various dressings can then be implemented to promote healing. If necessary, a referral can be made to Involve specialists using various referral pathways. Information used to synthesize this approach was obtained through a review of national and international guidelines and Google Scholar, MEDLINE, and PubMed databases. The ABCDEFGHI approach to wound assessment and management is a simple and easy-to-follow guide that can be easily implemented into practice, thereby improving clinician confidence and competence in wound care.