It’s no secret that collaboration in healthcare is key to driving better quality care and organizational success. What does that look like in wound care?

The wound care specialty is a crucial component in the U.S. healthcare system. Nurses and other clinicians are responsible for the treatment and management of acute and chronic wounds, working to achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients.

And while the work they do is invaluable, the collaboration wound care professionals have with other disciplines provides comprehensive and effective care. From physicians and nurses to physical therapists and nutritionists, each team member offers a unique set of skills and knowledge.

In fact, Wild On Wounds, one of the largest wound care conferences in the U.S., provides wound care clinicians and other healthcare professionals a place to connect and learn from one another. And at this year’s conference, the sessions will explore a variety of insightful topics, including the importance of collaboration for wound care clinicians.

Through collaboration, nurses and other health professionals improve patient outcomes, increase their own skills and knowledge, and enhance communication. Let’s explore why collaboration in healthcare, especially wound care, is essential.

Improved patient care comes from collaboration in healthcare

Headshot of female nurse smiling

Alice Benjamin, FNP-C

The most significant benefit of collaboration in wound care is its positive impact on patient care. Research shows that collaboration in healthcare settings can transform outcomes by reducing hospital readmissions and decreasing mortality rates.

“By combining expertise and cultural diversity from various healthcare professionals, we can develop meaningful comprehensive and individualized care plans,” said Alice Benjamin, MSN, ACNS-BC, FNP-C, Chief Nursing Officer Consultant for Nurse.com.

Benjamin has over 25 years of experience specializing in cardiovascular health, critical care, and emergency medicine. Throughout her career, she has worked with a diverse group of healthcare professionals and understands the importance of collaboration in healthcare.

Because wound care can be a complex process, it often requires a multifaceted approach.

Proper treatment of a chronic wound takes time and involves many different “players,” who are needed to best treat the patient, said Devin Kramer, MHA, BSN, RN, WCC, a wound care nurse from Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Kramer said the interdisciplinary team often includes professionals from the following areas:

  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • General surgery
  • Home healthcare
  • Infectious disease
  • Lab
  • Plastics
  • Podiatry
  • Primary care
  • Radiology
  • Vascular

Through these collaborative relationships, nurses and other clinicians develop comprehensive care plans that address infection control, nutrition, mobility, and more.

“This holistic approach optimizes care to ensure that all aspects of the person’s condition are addressed, leading to more effective treatment strategies, faster recovery times, and reduced risk of complications,” Benjamin added.

Enhanced knowledge and insights

Collaboration in healthcare helps healthcare professionals learn about areas of medicine that they may not specialize in, said Kramer, who has been a nurse for over 14 years and is speaking at a WOW 2024 session on collaboration.

“[Clinicians] may have a working knowledge of what another specialty does, but it’s through collaboration and communication that one can truly learn what another specialty has to offer,” he said. “Collaboration leads to knowledge of possible new treatments and therapies in another individual’s service lines that may help other patients that you have.”

For example, a nurse may learn about the latest wound dressing techniques from a wound care specialist, while a physical therapist may gain insights into the impact of mobility on wound healing from a nurse — each professional’s breadth of knowledge benefits the other and also enhances the overall quality of care.

Collaboration in healthcare leads to better communication

Headshot of smiling male nurse

Devin Kramer, RN, WCC

Research shows that collaboration in healthcare fosters better communication across teams. Effective communication ensures that all team members align on patient care and treatment goals.

When interdisciplinary teams share vital information, each team can make informed decisions that best support the patient’s needs. This level of effective communication helps improve patient safety, reduce medical errors, and advance the efficiency of care delivery.

Having an open forum allows for the exchange of insights and perspectives between colleagues, ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding the patient’s treatment plan, said Benjamin.

“For instance, a dietitian might suggest nutritional adjustments to support recovery, while a physical therapist could recommend specific exercises to improve mobility, and the nurse is able to identify home health supplies the patient will need based on conversations they’ve had with the patient,” she said. “This coordinated communication streamlines care and minimizes the risk of miscommunication, ensuring that all team members work toward the common goals of patient recovery.”

Kramer added that communication also builds trust for both patients and other team members.

“If you’re going to seek another provider’s help, it’s important to communicate exactly what you’re looking for in the treatment of the wound, so they know exactly what their role is and the results that you expect them to provide for you as well as for your patient,” he said. “As trust is built, so are the lines of communication and collaboration.”

Final thoughts

Collaboration in healthcare matters for a variety of reasons. By working together, healthcare professionals can provide comprehensive and holistic care that addresses all aspects of wound healing.

“Everyone is human, and everyone has their own sets of problems and patients they’re dealing with,” said Kramer. “But if we all work together, we’ll have the best outcomes for our patients, and just maybe, we’ll enjoy our jobs even more than we already do.”

If you're interested in expanding your knowledge of wound care, networking with colleagues, or seeing the latest wound care products and technology, register for the Wild on Wounds (WOW) conference August 14–17 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Register Now

Zelda Meeker

Zelda Meeker is a content marketing manager for the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI). At WCEI, she partners with physicians, nurses, curriculum designers, writers, and other staff members to shape healthcare content designed to improve clinical practice, staff expertise, and patient outcomes.

Related Posts

Why Wound Care Matters

By Natalie Vaughn

Understanding why wound care matters to both patients and caregivers alike, as wounds can prolong hospital stays, increase the risk of infection, and quickly raise costs for healthcare facilities.

What do you think?