After a ceremony honoring the wound care team at UMMC, a patient who had sat quietly at the back of the room spoke up and said, “I want to thank everyone here because if it wasn’t for you, I would have lost my leg. I’m just grateful.”
That was the message of the award, according to Stacey Bancker, a representative of Healogics, the nation’s largest wound care management company, which presented the award.
Of nearly 400 patients treated by the team, 94 percent had their wounds healed, Bancker said. There was a 92 percent patient satisfaction rate and the median number of days to heal was 21.
"We can talk about the numbers, but this really is a patient care ward," Bancker said.
That was a point stressed by Dan Ireland, the hospital's CEO when he spoke to congratulate the team members.
"This isn’t about the metrics," Ireland said. "It isn’t about the numbers. It’s about the real people and the patients. Our mission statement at Rochester Regional Health, United Memorial, starts with preserving health and enhancing the life of patients. There isn’t a better example of where we can do that than in the heal rate we see here and in the care the patients receive."
Bancker said there were 800 wound centers in the nation eligible for the award and only 334 were recognized for outstanding patient care results.
Dr. Mohamed M Ibrahim, a general surgeon before joining the wound care team nearly two and a half years ago, said he was really proud to be part of the team. As a surgeon he had been on the other end of the wound care process, he said, and then he didn't realize how much more there was to know about wound care.
“I have to say, I’ve learned a lot from our nurses," he said. "Our nurses are very knowledgeable, so I would like to thank everybody on our great team.”
Program Director Lisa Albanese also emphasized the team aspect of the effort and how the numbers are merely a reflection of the team's focus on taking care of patients.
"Even though the numbers are driven by KPIs (key performance indicators), the bottom line is every day we make a difference in the lives or our patients," said. "You guys are dedicated to making that difference and every day we have stories that we share with our administration."
Ireland said he hears those stories.
"I get countless emails, phone calls and letters from patients telling me real stories, stories about how they've been to five or 10 other centers or doctors and they've not been healed," Ireland said. "Then they come here and they are healed."
The patients also always note the compassion of the team, Ireland said.
"They talk about the personal care they get, that the team cares about them as a person, not just as a person with a wound on their skin," Ireland said.
Photo: Dr. Mohamed M Ibrahim, Michelle Rector, Emily Casacelik Alicia Prusinowski, Holly Siverling, Alissa Gorman, John Wickett, Joseph Canzoneri, and Lisa Albanese.