St. Vincent’s wound center remains excellent

Published 9:58 am Monday, August 14, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton Hospital’s Wound Care Center made it two awards in as many periods this month being named a Wound Center of Excellence again. The wound center was recognized by RestorixHeath, the company that assists with managing the center, for being named a center of excellence for the January-July 2023 period.

“Back to back awards is pretty impressive,” hospital administrator Shanon Hamilton said. “I think it speaks highly of the work our employees put in every day.”

St. Vincent’s Chilton had a 95% wound healing rate and a 97% patient satisfaction rate during the July-December 2022 period the first time it was given the award. In the January-July 2023 period, St. Vincent’s Chilton saw a slight dip in the heal rate to 92%, but saw a spike in patient satisfaction to 99%. The median days to heal for patients who received care at the wound center was 25 days.

Since the wound center opened in 2021 it has had nearly 1,500 visits, and it shows how much the center is being utilized not only in Chilton County, but across central Alabama. Hamilton said the primary service area for the center is Chilton County, but they are beginning to pull patients from outside that primary service area as far as Montgomery and Birmingham, and it is continuing to broaden its reach.

“We know people come here because they trust us, and they know the quality care they will be provided. As a result, they continue to come back,” Hamilton said.

Brenda Sherrill, one of the nurses at the wound center, said just a few weeks ago the nurses healed a wound that was affecting the patient for over two years. She added that the practitioners who are sending their patients to the wound center are pleased with the results they are getting.

Having the Wound Care Center a bit on the smaller side allows nurses like Sherrill the opportunity to spend more quality time with patients. Teaching them ways to prevent the need for future visits to the center is a part of that time.

“It is a great feeling (to help these patients),” Sherrill said. “Patients we have treated before will call and say ‘I have another wound, can I come back?’ Absolutely you can, and they heal out quicker the second time because they know who to call, and they know not to let it get worse.”

Hamilton said there are a lot of patients in Chilton County who battle diabetes, and they are at the highest risk of foot ulcers or wounds. Before the center opened, they were having to travel out of the county to receive care. That is the biggest reason the Wound Care Center was opened.

“We felt strongly that we needed to be the solution for this county when it comes to wound care,” Hamilton said. “We have been at it for a year and a half now, and we are seeing tremendous results. This award is not only patient satisfaction, but the combination of that and quality metrics.”

Hamilton said the wound center is great because patients come in with a problem they can see, feel and know is there. As the treatment goes on, patients can physically see the changes taking effect, and he believes they appreciate that and can see the hard work that the staff is putting forth is worth it.