The importance of wound healing in Europe
Wound healing and wound care is an essential part of medicine. It mainly deals, next to acute, with chronic wounds, defined as wounds, which do not heal for 6 to 8 weeks. The medical field of wound healing is a multi-disciplinary medical competence jointly performed in an interprofessional way, i.e. with a very strong impact of nurses. Austria alone holds 250,000 wound patients, which leads to an estimate of 15 million wound patients in the EU. In Austria, just the costs for the dressing changes per year account for € 225,4 million. The major problem in the medical field of wound healing is the fact, that only 30 to 40% of the patients receive an adequate modern wound therapy.
The MJC Wound Healing (MJC-WH) was founded October 20th 2018 in Brussels representing an interdisciplinary body of the UEMS with 20 delegates from 9 different medical specialties. The major task of the MJC-WH is the harmonization and synchronization of the medical field of wound healing in all EU countries.
Problems related to the medical field of wound healing in Europe
In 81% of all EU countries no specific wound healing curriculum is implemented in the general curricula of those specialties, which often deal with wounds. In 83% of the countries there is not even a special physicians-related national postgraduate program on wound healing and 46% of all EU countries do not hold interdisciplinary specialized wound centers. Moreover, the use of national guidelines is not the dominant treatment standard in the majority of EU countries. With regard to nurses, we have the problem that they usually have a specific education in wound healing with governmental accreditation. Such an education may also lead to a PhD or professor degree in various EU countries. In addition, in all northern EU countries and the UK wound nurses are allowed to diagnose, treat, prescribe and order wound healing devices, which makes it very difficult for medical doctors to contribute to wound care. Next to the examples of problems herein described, there are various other problems, which have to be addressed by the MJC-WH.
Work done so far:
· Interdisciplinary and multinational survey on the situation of wound healing in Europe
· Position paper including a road map for politics (for the full document see the section Documents)
· Multidisciplinary discussions on the definition of the scope of work for the different specialties (work in progress)
· First development of a basic curriculum and then the European training requirements for European physicians in wound healing, fully approved by the UEMS Council in October 2018 (for the full document see the section Documents)
· Definition of the infrastructure for wound centers (for the full document see the section Documents)
The work load of the MJC (major examples listed)
·To promote and harmonize the highest level of training of the related medical specialists
· Preparation of an UEMS European board of wound healing which prepares, launches and performs UEMS EBSQ examinations in wound healing
·Development and launch of a postgraduate teaching program
·For wound healing the defense of the professional interest of European medical specialists is essential.
·The necessity to create a working group “Professional Policies” for defining the scope of work physicians and nurses in this field.
·To develop the tools needed for supporting the free movement of the related medical specialists within the EU.
·Promotion and harmonization of the medical practice and scientific issues in the field of wound healing.
·Founding of a working group “Guidelines” to promote, review and accredit EU guidelines for a pan-European standard of care.
·Review and EACCME accreditation of European wound healing educational events (e.g. congresses)
Cooperation partners of the MJC wound healing
European Wound Management Association (EWMA): The EWMA. as biggest multidisciplinary and interprofessional European society for wound healing is an important and close cooperation partner of the MJC-WH to reach our goals.
The European Wound Management Association (EWMA) is a European not-for-profit umbrella organisation, linking national wound management organisations, individuals and groups with interest in wound care.
Central to EWMA’s objectives is to support implementation of interdisciplinary and cost effective wound care of high quality. EWMA works to reach its objectives by being an educational resource, organising conferences, contributing to international projects related to wound management, actively supporting the implementation of existing knowledge within wound management and providing information on all aspects of wound management.
European Association of Fellows in Wound Healing (EAFWH): EAFWH is an important partner of the MJC-WH to teach the first harmonized pan-European curriculum in wound healing for the specialist physicians often dealing with wounds. The training of the EU curriculum is performed in all EU countries using harmonized slide kits and international experts in wound healing. The successful graduation from this programme goes in-line with the award of the title “European Fellow in Wound Healing”. In contrast to wound healing nurses, this programme offers physicians for the first time a harmonized indepth education in this medical field. For details, see the section below “Become a European Fellow in Wound Healing”.