Educational guides on wound dressing packages can increase patient safety and accuracy when applying the product, according to a study appeared in the Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing (Journal of WOCN).

The study, which used a wound dressing packaging system from Medline Industries, included 173 clinicians and found that the nurses who used wound care dressings that had educational instructions attached to the outer package were 88% more likely to apply the products correctly than nurses who used the dressings in a traditional package.

The wound dressing used in the study was not familiar to the participants to more accurately assess the effect of the educational packaging and self-reported confidence with application.

The participants were randomly divided into two groups: a control group receiving the traditional wound education and an ‘intervention’ group using Medline’s just-in-time educational packaging.

None of the 62 nurses in the control group (using the traditional packaging) were able to apply the dressing correctly as compared to 68 of the 77 (88%) in the intervention group.

Similarly, 88% of the nurses in the intervention group reported that the educational packaging gave them confidence that they can correctly apply the dressing.

Moreover, 71% in this group said they would change their nursing practice in relation to application of wound dressings based on the education on the package.

Riverview Hospital Wound Ostomy Clinic in Noblesville, Indiana, manager andthe author of the study Dea Kent said that the study findings provide evidence that manufacturers of wound dressings should apply just-in-time education techniques by placing an educational guide on all wound dressing packages in order to enhance the accuracy and safety of application and, ultimately, its efficacy in wound healing.

Medline, a privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies.