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Wounds. 2009 May;21(5):127-33.

Development and implementation of a clinical pathway to improve venous leg ulcer treatment.

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Andriessen Consultants, Netherlands; Email:


  A clinical pathway (CP) was developed and implemented to improve treatment outcomes for patients with venous leg ulcers. The CP and products (Rosidal® sys, Suprasorb® A, Suprasorb® P, and Suprasorb® C, Lohmann & Rauscher GmbH, Rengsdorf, Germany) were tested by case evaluation. Patients from the center were examined to determine his or her general condition, associated factors, wound type and stage, wound evolution, quality of life (QOL), treatment efficacy, and costs. Patients with venous leg ulceration (N = 20) were recruited to the clinical evaluation. Examination was performed upon presentation, and then at 2-week intervals for 12 weeks. The patients were then followed until ulcer closure. The outcome of the study group (SG) was compared to the results of a randomly selected patient control group (CG) at the center before implementing the clinical pathway. Statistic evaluation was performed using StatXact 5.0, double sided (α = 0.05) for paired and Wilcoxon test, and unpaired with Mann-Whitney (N = 20, [10/10]). After implementation, a statistically significant (P < 0.005) shorter period for ulcer closure was demonstrated for the SG when compared to previous treatment given to the CG. In the SG, 5/10 ulcers closed within 12 weeks versus 3/10 in the CG. An improvement in QOL was noted for the SG (P < 0.05 for the combined parameters, and P < 0.005 for pain), as well as cost savings (P < 0.05). The CP applied throughout the complete care chain improved quality of treatment outcomes and made effective use of resources and materials.


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