Wound Follow Up Home Page
WoundFollowUp is a tool that allows wound care professionals to help their patients at a distance. It is based on photos sent by cell phone or email. It helps health professionals monitor and treat patient wounds much more effectively and efficiently.
The problem: Treating wounds often requires repeated patient visits to a clinic, or regular visits from a visiting nurse to the patient at home. In many cases, this makes life difficult for the patient who must travel to appointments, and for the health professionals who must schedule time to see each patient.
The solution: Today, thanks to cell phones and digital camera technology, wound patients and their caregivers can send photos of wounds to a skilled wound care nurse who can monitor their healing and provide treatment advice.
- Wound FollowUp allows patients to be 'seen' quickly and greatly increases the efficiency of a skilled wound care nurse. The photos can be sent by visiting nurses or by the patients themselves.
- WoundFollowUp is very simple to use – with equipment that you likely already have and that is inexpensive to operate. Because images can be stored and forwarded, the system can be used even in places with poor Internet or cell phone connectivity.
The users of WoundFollowUp:
Hospitals and clinics that care for post-surgical wounds and other out-patient wounds – WoundFollowUp provides a way to reduce patient visits while ensuring that wounds are monitored and treated, and that infections are caught earlier. Wound Care Nurses’ time can be used more efficiently – as they can schedule time to review all of their patients’ wound photos and give treatment advice by telephone to the patient or a visiting nurse.
Patients – WoundFollowUp gives patients a way to avoid painful journeys to the clinic, and a way to get seen more often. Any visible ailment can be monitored this way – the patient may be an elderly family member with a pressure ulcer or a diabetic leg ulcer, or a patient with a wound from an injury or a surgical procedure, or even a cat bite! The nurse can say Send me another picture tomorrow to see if the redness has gone down.
Visiting Nurses – WoundFollowUp provides visiting nurses a convenient way to document a patient's wound throughout the healing process. When necessary, the visiting nurse can use the photos to get treatment advice from a wound care nurse at the clinic. And, if another visiting nurse takes over the patient’s file, the photos provide a visual record of the patient’s progress.
Long Term Care Facilities – WoundFollowUp provides a way to store images of patients’ pressure ulcers and other slow-to-heal wounds and monitor them over time. The system includes several features designed to help manage these, including a Pressure Ulcer report and a Pressure Ulcer Calculator. In the Long Term Care approach, no images or other information goes to the Internet at all. In our trial, the nursing director felt that WoundFollowUp offered her a tool to reflect on and plan treatment for these difficult wounds.
Patient Privacy and Confidentiality
WoundFollowUp.com (WFU) is a store-and-forward mailbox system. It forwards messages and photos from a patient or a Visiting Nurse to a Wound Care Nurse at the clinic.
The WFU does not keep any identifying information about patients (their names, phone numbers or medical information). When forwarding information the WFU system scrambles the patient phone number (irreversibly) to protect their privacy. Patient photos and messages are deleted from the WFU system as soon as they are delivered to the wound care nurse at the clinic.