Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Releases Results of Outcomes Research

Share Article

Study Finds that WOC Nurses Make a Difference in Positive Patient Results

This study proves that WOC care results in better patient outcomes, which translates into lower patient care costs. -- President of WOCN® Society, Kate Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN.

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) is pleased to announce the exceptional results of a recent research study that showed WOC nurses are a key factor in achieving better patient outcomes related to wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) conditions.

This study, the Effectiveness of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses on Agency-Level Wound and Incontinence Outcomes in Home Care, is the largest and most comprehensive study ever undertaken on WOC care. Results found that facilities with WOC nurses had significantly better patient improvement and stabilization in services for wounds, incontinence and urinary tract infections compared to facilities without WOC nurses.

In the more than 400,000 episodes of care included in this study, home health care (HHC) patients treated with a WOC nurse improved dramatically compared to HHC patients without a WOC nurse. The numbers tell us patients were:

  •     More than 2.3 times likely to have stabilization of urinary incontinence
  •     Also 1.2 times as likely to have stabilization of urinary tract infections
  •     And 1.16 times as likely to have stabilization of fecal incontinence.

“WOC nursing is a multifaceted, evidence-based practice incorporating a unique body of knowledge that adheres to high standards of practice cultivated by the American Nurses Association,” said President of WOCN® Society, Kate Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN. “This study proves that WOC care results in better patient outcomes, which translates into lower patient care costs.”

In addition to the aforementioned results, the study also found that patients were nearly twice as likely to have improvement in pressure ulcers, 20% more likely to have improvement in lower extremity ulcers and 14% more likely to have improvement in bowel incontinence.

“WOC nurses are invaluable to employers,” continued Lawrence. “Evidence from our study showed that patient outcomes improve and WOC care can prevent readmissions. WOC care also helps ensure home care agencies get the maximum payout from Medicare and Medicaid.”

This study was made possible by a WOCN® Society grant to a team of investigators at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Chartered in 2010, the study successfully met its goals to compare both incidence and patient outcomes in pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, surgical wounds, urinary/bowel incontinence, and urinary tract infections (UTI) for patients and facilities with and without WOC nurses. Bonnie Westra, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, stated, “We’ve always assumed that WOC education and certification make a difference. We now have evidence that proves they make a difference.”

“In the past, home health care agencies worried that hiring a WOC nurse may cost them more, but the results of this study show it’s worth it to hire a WOC nurse,” added Westra.

About the WOCN® Society

Founded in 1968, the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ is a professional, international nursing society of more than 4,800 health care professionals who are experts in the care of patients with wounds, ostomies and incontinence. The Society supports its members by promoting educational, clinical and research opportunities to advance the practice and guide the delivery of health care to individuals with wounds, ostomies and incontinence. Learn more by visiting http://www.wocn.org. Connect with WOCN® on Facebook at Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN®), on Twitter at @WOCNSociety and on LinkedIn at Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kate Bowen
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society
856-380-6852
Email >
Visit website