February 17, 2022
Today, dedicated, outpatient and expanded St. Peter’s Health Wound Care program celebrates one year in operation. The specialty clinic brought the best-in-class outpatient wound care treatment and technology to the greater Helena area. The program operates in partnership with Healogics, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of advanced wound care services. The multidisciplinary team is dedicated to healing chronic wounds that have resisted traditional treatment. In its first year, the team is seeing comprehensive healing rates significantly above the national average. Healogics prefers to share comprehensive healing rates as opposed to standard healing rates because comprehensive healing rates share a more accurate reflection of wound healing in all patients cared for at the clinic.
According to Wound Care Director and Physical Therapist Jane O’Driscoll, PT, the partnership with Healogics elevates the level of care they are able to provide patients locally. “Healogics is the gold standard for wound care. Not only do they offer us a wealth of expertise and experience, they also provide us access to national databases, peer-reviewed research and advanced analytics that we would not otherwise have access to. ”
To date, 272 community members have received outpatient wound care in the new healing-focused, dedicated environment. Helena resident Kalina Welch, 35, visits the clinic often for wound vacuum-assisted care, or wound VAC, after a number of procedures made it difficult for her surgery site to heal.
“The team at the St. Peter’s Wound Care is just phenomenal. After I was discharged from surgery in Great Falls, we all questioned where I would be able to get wound care close to home,” Welch said. “It was serendipitous that the new center in Helena had just opened.”
Welch recently graduated from visiting the clinic three times a week for care. Now, she only has to visit the clinic once a week. “We are crossing really important milestones in the healing process and I can’t thank my care team enough,” said Welch. “They were the difference between me saying, ‘I don’t know if I can get through this’ and ‘I know I can get through this.’”
According to longtime General Surgeon and Medical Director for St. Peter’s Wound Care Dr. John Galt a dedicated wound care center was needed in Helena. “They say one in four patients with wounds actually receive the care they need. When you think of that number locally, it adds up quickly,” said Dr. Galt. “It was a great first year and I know our team feels honored to be making a difference for community members on their wound healing journey.”
Dr. Galt and the wound care team is excited for what is next for St. Peter’s Wound Care as they enter their second year of operations. “We want to become a Healogics Center of Distinction and we are well on our way.” To become a Center of Distinction, the program must be in operation for over one year, have a 28 days or less “Median Days to Heal” rate and reach other patient-driven outcomes. St. Peter’s Wound Care program is already averaging a median 21 days to heal rate, which is well below the target and many of their other patient-driven outcomes are right on par to be named a Center of Distinction later this year.
“Becoming a Center of Distinction would be the cherry on top of what was already a really rewarding first year,” says O’Driscoll. “In the meantime though, we’ll keep doing what we do best – showing up for our patients who are struggling with non-healing wounds.”
The St. Peters’ Health Wound Care Center is located at the St. Peter’s Regional Medical Center (hospital) and includes a dedicated outpatient clinic with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). Referrals are not required for an appointment, but community members are encouraged to check with their insurance carrier ahead of scheduling an appointment. St. Peter’s also offers wound care services to patients hospitalized at the Regional Medical Center. To make an appointment call (406) 457-4241. To learn more about the St. Peter's Wound Care Center visit www.sphealth.org/specialties-treatments/wound-care-center.