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Keywords

ambulatory care, chronic wounds, colocation, healing, hematology, leg ulcers, sickle cell disease, utilization, wound healing

 

Authors

  1. Flattau, Anna MD, MS, MSc
  2. Vinces, Giacomo DO
  3. You, Shuo MD
  4. Crouch, Andrew S. BA
  5. Minniti, Caterina P. MD

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Leg ulcers affect 15% of people with sickle cell disease. However, wound centers typically treat few people with this condition, which makes it difficult to concentrate clinical expertise or support the scientific study of this orphan disease. This article describes an initiative to increase engagement in care through a partnership between wound healing and hematology leadership that led to colocating wound services within a sickle cell clinic.

 

METHODS: Via a retrospective chart review, the authors collected records of all adult patients with sickle cell disease who received wound care in the last decade, including 7 years of wound center data and 3 years of data from the colocated services. Patient and visit characteristics were analyzed using descriptive analytics.

 

RESULTS: The general wound center had previously treated 35 patients with sickle cell ulcers over 7 years. In contrast, colocated services engaged 56 patients within 3 years, including 20 who transferred care and 36 new patients. The majority of patients at the colocated site were women, unlike at the wound center (58% vs 47%, P = .07). Results indicated that 36% of patients healed initial wounds, and 45% had new wound occurrences.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Colocation successfully increases the number of patients with sickle cell ulcers who will engage in wound care at a single site, laying the foundation for clinical studies to improve the evidence base for this difficult-to-treat condition.