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Guidelines to harmonize wound management across settings and specialties

Bolton, L.L., Girolami, S., Corbett, L., Couch, K., Gould, L., Zakhary, S., Davey, C., LaForet, K., Napier, K., Merkle, D., Lavery, L., Cowan, L. and Bolton, L. (2017) Guidelines to harmonize wound management across settings and specialties. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 25 (4). A16.

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Consistent wound care across settings by collaborating members of interdisciplinary teams improves consistency and quality of patient and wound outcomes. The International Consolidated Guideline Task Force (ICGTF) develops patient centered guidelines that channel evidence-based principles from all related organizations’ guidelines to serve interdisciplinary wound care teams. These guidelines and related implementation tools are designed to harmonize wound care team interactions and serve patients and professionals across all settings and specialties.

Purpose: We describe the ICGTF guideline development process and how it improves quality of wound care guidelines by replacing consensus with formal content validation of recommendation relevance. Methods: Using published standardized processes the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care Guideline Task Force collaborated with the Wound Healing Society and Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy in updating the ICGTF Venous and Pressure Ulcer Guidelines. Independent multidisciplinary respondents completed an online survey, formally content validating each recommendation’s clinical relevance and rating its strength (benefit-to harm ratio) using recognized standards. MEDLINE database literature reviews identified up to five best available references supporting each recommendation based on recognized evidence standards.

Results: Guidelines were designed using Institute of Medicine, AHRQ, GRADE, and AGREE principles for developing high quality guidelines. All recommendations included in each final guideline are clinically relevant (Content Validity Index at least 0.75) and/or supported by the highest level of evidence. Implementation tools are illustrated, including evidence tables, checklists, algorithms, professional pocket guides, and patient brochures designed to involve patients as active participants in guideline-consistent team care.

Conclusion: ICGTF guidelines span specialties and settings to serve interdisciplinary wound teams encouraging appropriate diagnosis, prevention, timely referral and treatment in harmony with current specialty source guidelines. All interested wound organizations are invited to collaborate with the ICGTF encouraging all wound professionals to appreciate each other’s value, while highlighting value of each related specialty guideline.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Comparative Genomics
Copyright: © 2017 by the Wound Healing Society
Other Information: 29th Annual Meeting of the Wound Healing Society, SAWC-Spring/WHS Joint Meeting: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA, April 5-9, 2017
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