Presence St. Mary’s Hospital’s (PSMH) Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine has received accreditation from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), making it one of only three centers in Illinois to earn this distinction.
Accreditation by the UHMS means that PSMH’s Wound Care Center met the highest standards of care and patient safety through extensive evaluation of its operations, including equipment, staff and training, to ensure that the utmost quality is maintained within the specialty of undersea and hyperbaric medicine.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to speed the healing process and is used with patients with non-healing wounds or conditions that require some assistance with healing. It involves the use of medical oxygen administered in a pressure chamber at levels higher than atmospheric pressure. This pressure helps oxygen dissolve more rapidly into the blood, advancing its absorption into damaged tissues to promote healing of wounds. The advanced wound cared therapy is especially effective for treatment of severe diabetic ulcers, burns, soft tissue injuries after radiation therapy and bone infections. Well-maintained chambers and trained support staff are essential in the daily operation of this important treatment adjunct.
PSMH’s Wound Care Center has two hyperbaric oxygen chambers to accommodate a continuously growing patient list. In addition to specially certified nurses and support staff, the Wound Care Center consists of a team of physician specialists in the fields of podiatry, general surgery, family medicine and sports medicine, offering a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care.
Participating in the UHMS accreditation program is voluntary and takes months of preparation. PSMH’s team of physicians, nurses, technicians and management worked together prior to the accreditation survey to ensure compliance with UHMS-related standards of practice and safety measures. The survey team who visited PSMH consisted of a physician, nurse and technician, all of whom specialize in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
“Any time we see a new patient, we have to first ask ‘why didn’t they heal naturally?’ It’s not just the wound we treat, but it’s the problem behind the wound that we’re treating,” says Wound Care Director Barb Schaeffer. “This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest quality of patient care at St. Mary’s. We are proud of our team for achieving this significant milestone.
Services offered at PSMH’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine include:
Wound consultation/evaluation, diagnostic and ongoing assessments and treatment
Non-invasive vascular studies
Specialty wound dressings
Bio-engineered skin grafts/substitutes
Wound cultures and biopsies
Treatment of wound, skin and bone infections, including antibiotic therapy
Patient and family education
Pressure off-loading devices and footwear
Negative pressure wound therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for diabetic wounds of the lower extremity
Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
Preparation and preservation of compromised skin grafts and flaps
For more information or to speak with a caregiver, call the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at 815.937.2273.