Democratizing Wound Care in Hospice Care Facilities
Hospice care facilities provide care for the terminally ill, including patients battling late-stage cancer, heart disease, and kidney failure, as well as those living with chronic non-healing wounds. In this article, The Wound Docs examines the effects of inequities in hospice care and proposes viable solutions to close the gap.
Disparities in COVID-19 cases and mortalities in the U.S.
As the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reaches record highs across the country, disease risk and mortality rates among minorities have reached unprecedented levels. Within U.S. states, the contrast is apparent. In Chicago, for example, over 50% of the reported cases and over 70% of fatalities are among African American populations. COVID-19 related mortality is six times higher in Black Americans than whites in Washington DC, five times higher in Missouri and Michigan, and three times higher in Louisiana, Illinois, and New York.
Moreover, a report by a leading peer-reviewed journal has revealed that minority populations are underserved at hospice care facilities. The study used data from Medicare beneficiaries to collate numbers of admissions, hospice enrollment/dis-enrollment, and emergency department (ED) visits in whites and people of color. The researchers discovered several racial disparities in patterns of care between black and white enrollees. If these issues are left unaddressed, they may likely worsen over time.
Inequities in hospice care and under-utilization by minorities
Social distancing and non-contact measures adopted across the country to slow the spread of the virus has adversely affected the amount of care many patients receive at long-term care facilities, particularly those without symptoms that are considered life-threatening. However, inequities in long-term facilities such as hospice homes are more pronounced among minorities such as African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic peoples. The problem has today come to the fore during the pandemic.
According to Sherita Hill Golden, M.D. in an article on Hospice news: (“[The rates of pandemic infections and deaths] highlight the social and health inequities in a way that it just makes them glaring." For many of us who have worked with these populations, they have been dying at higher rates for heart disease, diabetes, and renal disease for years. But those are the chronic diseases, so people die more slowly, whereas [COVID-19] is an acute infection.”), she added. According to a study by the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), end-of-life racial and diagnostic differences at hospice facilities may account for the lower ratings black families award hospice care in their communities.
Underutilization of hospice care facilities correlates with mistrust of the healthcare system by minorities. Research has revealed systematic racial variations in the intensity of care received at hospice facilities. Drawing data from more than 145 thousand Medicare beneficiaries followed until death, in 577 hospice care facilities, a survey revealed that Blacks were more likely than whites to be admitted, visit the emergency department (ED), and disenroll after hospice enrollment. One of the best ways to democratize care at long-term care facilities is via virtual healthcare (telehealth). It involves utilizing electronic hardware and information technology for the delivery and facilitation of health-related services. Telehealth is particularly beneficial to the vast majority of patients (regardless of race, class, or social status) that own mobile or portable devices.
The Wound Docs: Better Decision Making With Artificial Intelligence
The Wound Docs has developed its own proprietary automatic wound measuring system to measure wounds accurately. The Wound Docs documentation system is comprehensive and can substantiate the use of advanced biologics. All Wound Docs physicians partnering with the Wound Docs gain access to our robust, proprietary platform.
Exercise Routines for Health and Fitness: Moderate and High-intensity Workouts
There are different types of exercises; you get better results when you choose a combination of activities that cater to your needs. Research shows that you can gain tremendous benefits by doing a mix of four types of exercise: endurance activities, strength training.
Foam Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Non-adhesive foam dressings require the use of an additional secondary dressing to be secured in position. In general, thin foam dressings have an adhesive wound contact layer.
Hydrogel Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Hydrogel wound dressings belong to the class of modern wound dressings that actively stimulate the wound healing process. They are composed of synthetic polymers with a high water content formed in the shape of sheets, amorphous gels, and foams.
Alginate Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
In the United States, approximately 6 million people are affected by chronic wounds. The number is only expected to increase with the rise in the elderly population. Wound dressings form an essential component of wound care.
How Obesity and Overweight Affects Wound Healing
Obesity and excessive weight are conditions that continue to disproportionately affect Black and African American people in the United States.
Understanding and Tackling Hypertension in African American Communities
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is more prevalent in African American communities than in other racial groups in the United States. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicated that about 5 in 10 non-Hispanic Black adults are hypertensive.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are areas of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue. They result from unrelieved pressure on the skin, friction, shear, or a combination of these.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Amputation Prevention
With the various technological advancements, amputation prevention through proper wound care is an attractive area for Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2002, the whole world was in awe when Google brain, an Artificial Intelligence research team, could find a cat in a YouTube video.
The Role of Advanced Biologics (Skin Substitutes) in Wound Healing
For a long time now, limb amputation has affected the mobility of African Americans living with chronic diseases. Worse still, studies have shown that limb amputation among diabetes
Know Better, Do Better: Adopting Healthy Lifestyles for Amputation Prevention
Black Americans are twice as likely to develop pulmonary artery disease (PAD) – a leading cause of lower limb amputation – as any other race.
Tackling the Education Gap: Encouraging Medical Careers Among Black Students
Black and African American doctors make up 5% of all active physicians in the country – a mere 45,534 healthcare professionals. With the African American population at about 46.9 million, it is clear why Black communities are underserved.
The Amputation Epidemic in Black America: What Everyone Needs to Know
Peer-reviewed studies have revealed that black patients are three times more likely to lose limbs than the national average. In black populated areas with little or no access to quality healthcare...
Why Are Black People Losing Limbs More Often?
Now more than ever, Blacks and African Americans are losing lower extremity limbs. In recent years, there has been a stark difference in the amputation rates in Black and white communities.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Its Impact On Wound Care
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the arteries in the arms, legs, and internal organs. It’s often caused by atherosclerosis which is the buildup of fat and cholesterol – called plaque – in the arteries.
Promoting Physical Exercise and Mobility in African American Communities
Inadequate physical inactivity has increasingly been recognized as a leading cause of mobility problems and early mortality in the world.
A Spotlight on Healthcare Disparities in African American Communities
Even with promising interventions such as the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare equality in the U.S. seems like a distant goal. African Americans are still more likely to be burdened with chronic diseases
Avenues for Promoting Health Awareness in African Communities
Disparities in healthcare remain a serious problem in African American communities. The history of slavery and other social determinants like systemic racism and access to healthy foods undoubtedly underlie the inexcusably poor state of African American health.
The State of Black Health in America
Over 150 years from the abolishment of slavery, healthcare in America is stilled marred by systemic racial discrimination and inequality. According to the CDC, 20.2 percent of black American adults are living in fair or poor health. This is a visibly higher population compared to white, non-Hispanic (14.1 percent).
Black Nutrition: Are You Eating The Right Diet?
Blacks have dietary preferences born from cultural influence. A study conducted on 7,000 men and women over 45 years living across the U.S. found that Black participants were more likely to eat a diet comprising highly processed foods compared to their White counterparts. Further, 46% of Blacks and 33% of Whites developed hypertension, with diet being the reason for much of the disparity.
Debridement: A Critical Component of Wound Treatment
Debridement is a part of the standard DIME technique for wound bed preparation in chronic wounds.
What is Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and How Does it Benefit Patients?
Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) aims to facilitate wound healing by modifying the pressure over a wound surface.
The Benefits of Telemedicine To Wound Care
Telemedicine is particularly beneficial in long-term care facilities where a significant number of Americans living with chronic conditions such as non-healing wounds reside.
Why are Some Wounds Slow To Heal?
Chronic slow-healing wounds are those that fail to progress through a timely and predictable sequence of repair.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Wound Therapy and How Does it Benefit Patients?
Chronic non-healing wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers and venous insufficiency ulcers remain in the inflammatory state despite adequate management, prolonging wound healing, and adversely affecting the quality of life of patients.
Diagnosis and Management of Pressure Ulcers
Leading research estimates a prevalence of up to 27% of pressure ulcers in patients living at long-term care facilities. Elderly patients (above 70 years of age), obese patients, patients with limited mobility, and those with underlying medical conditions e.g., peripheral arterial disease, and multiple sclerosis are the most at risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Compression Therapy for Wound Management
For patients living with chronic wounds such as venous ulcers, compression therapy can help to ease symptoms and aid wound healing.
Democratizing Wound Care in Hospice Care Facilities
Hospice care facilities provide care for the terminally ill, including patients battling late-stage cancer, heart disease, and kidney failure, as well as those living with chronic non-healing wounds.
Dealing With Diabetic Foot Ulcers During The Pandemic
People living with diabetes represent a subset of individuals with special health needs due to the nature of the disease.
What Clinicians Need To Know About Wound Care Dressings
To healthcare experts, choosing the right dressing is critical to improving wound healing outcomes in patients.