While it is always essential that any chosen medical intervention is as effective as possible, this is particularly true in times of economic difficulty when resources are limited and waste is not an option. To maximize the effectiveness of available resources, the practice of evidence-based medicine becomes increasingly important, as well as the use of guidelines that consider the cost-effectiveness of treatments.
What is Evidence-Based Medicine?
Evidence-based medicine has been defined as the “conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.”1 The practice of evidence-based medicine involves combining individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.
A review of the effect of informed treatment decisions on improving patient care in wound management was recently published,2 based on a comprehensive Medline and OvidSP literature search using the MESH terms evidence-based practice and wounds and injuries.
Modern Therapies Save Money
The review found that certain modern therapies, although costly, can provide cost savings overall. One example is negative pressure wound therapy, which, although considerably more expensive than routine dressings in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and traumatic and postsurgical wounds, can lead to savings through fewer surgical procedures, less-frequent monitoring, and fewer outpatient treatment visits.3-6
Interestingly, however, the review also found that new and expensive interventions are not always necessarily more effective, despite an underlying expectation to the contrary. For example, although the use of modern dressings is widespread, these dressings have not always been shown to provide a clinical advantage over conventional dressings. The authors recommend, therefore, that wound care professionals resist the routine use of new and more expensive dressings in the absence of good quality clinical evidence for their benefit over existing products.
If you are interested in learning more about evidence-based medicine and how it may be used to enhance your own treatment practices, consider gaining a recognized certification in wound care.
Learn More With Our Wound Care Education Options
Interested in learning more about wound care and certification? Browse through our wound care certification courses for information on our comprehensive range of education options to suit healthcare professionals across the full spectrum of qualifications and experience.
- Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ. 1996;13:71–72.
- Al-Benna S. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2010 Jun;56(6):48-54. A discourse on the contributions of evidence-based medicine to wound care.
- Apelqvist J, Armstrong DG, Lavery LA, Boulton AJ. Resource utilization and economic costs of care based on a randomized trial of vacuum-assisted closure therapy in the treatment of diabetic foot wounds. Am J Surg. 2008;195:782–788.
- Armstrong DG, Lavery LA; Diabetic Foot Study Consortium. Negative pressure wound therapy after partial diabetic foot amputation: a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2005;366(9498):1704–1710.
- Blume PA, Walters J, Payne W, Ayala J, Lantis J. Comparison of negative pressure wound therapy using vacuum-assisted closure with advanced moist wound therapy in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2008:631–636.
- Eginton MT, Brown KR, Seabrook GR, Towne JB, Cambria RA. A prospective randomized evaluation of negative-pressure wound dressings for diabetic foot wounds. Ann Vasc Surg. 2003:645–649.