Alex Catalano has been working in the wound care industry since five years and he has been at Tidelands for nine months. In this role, Alex Catalano oversees the health system’s wound care services, including two outpatient locations – Tidelands Health Wound Healing Center at Georgetown and Tidelands Health Wound Healing Center at Murrells Inlet. He looks after the day to day operations and also how they can improve efficiency, become more cost effective, and improve their healing measures.
So wound care itself is interesting. It seemed like it was on the side of everyone; there were a lot of surgeons who were doing it as a retirement job or plastic surgeons or general surgeons doing it maybe a half day clinic a week and not truly dedicated wound care providers. But it’s become a lot more prominent issue in healthcare recently, especially with the baby boomer generation getting older and having all these vascular ulcers and diabetic complications which is a majority of what we see.
How has the wound care space changed lately?
With this global pandemic at the beginning at our wound centers, we cut back greatly because our patient population is the ones that have all the co morbidities and may have all of the high risk factors for negative COVID outcomes. But what we found after a few weeks was our patients were going to be either seen by us or they’re going to be in the emergency room being seen anyway. Because their wounds were getting worse; so we had a short little dip there in volumes. But they kicked right back up and we’re as busy as we’ve ever been right now.
How COVID-19 is changing Wound Care?
It definitely does jumpstarted our use of telemedicine. A lot of our patients are pressure injury patients from nursing homes and with the nursing homes being locked down now; they can’t come out to us for fear of contracting COVID and bringing it back to the nursing home. Our hospital has been proactive in other areas when it comes to telemedicine.
Also a lot of the private insurers are cutting back on their restrictions for payment for telemedicine which is good. Wound care can be a little tough because so much of what we do is hands on, we’re doing a lot of debris movements, a lot of raps, and you can’t do that over the phone.