Evaluation of replacing compression wraps with a compression garment for cost and ease of use

Becky Greenwood, RN, BSN, CWOCN, Education/Quality Department, Intermountain Homecare & Hospice, South Jordan, UT and Annette Gwilliam, BSN, RN, CWCN, ACHRN, Wound Care Coordination, Envision Home Health and Hospice, Orem, UT
The use of 2 or 4 layer compression wraps to manage edema and aid in wound healing is common in the treatment of edema and venous insufficiency1.  Disposable compression wraps are costly and require specialized training and skill to apply.  Due to the nature of the disease, after wounds have healed, patients will need continued compression to prevent reoccurrence of ulcerations.

The nursing care and product costs were increasing, therefore, we decided a solution for our agency was to substitute the 2/4 layer compression products with a reusable Velcro wrap. We worked closely with the wound care physicians, and once drainage and edema decreased, we initialed the reusable Velcro closure compression wrap as a substitute for disposable compression wraps.  We also taught the patient and/or family how to apply the Velcro garment.

To this date we have initiated the protocol on 10 patients with very positive outcomes.  All of the patients continued to have their edema managed and the wound measurements decreased as they continued to heal.  A survey of the patients found that the garments were “comfortable” and “easy to wear.”   A nursing survey indicated they felt the wraps were “easy to use” and “saved time during wound treatment.”

We found significant cost savings as the Velcro system was covered by insurance, if ordered while the patient had open wounds. This saved our agency $100-$150 per week in compression products alone.

With growing costs of healthcare, the use of a reusable compression garment will reduce the cost of treatment while maintaining good quality outcomes.  The added benefit to the patient is the use of the Velcro compression system as a maintenance garment once the wounds have healed decreasing the risk for recurring ulcerations.