Over the last year, COVID-19 has forced healthcare professionals to rapidly change the way they think and practice. This includes quickly assessing patients and reevaluating clinical situations with new eyes for optimal resource utilization and effective patient care options. Some facilities have reassigned professional personnel, and the entire industry has had to rethink traditional clinical paradigms.
There is also a need to communicate and collaborate for improved patient outcomes with value for the healthcare dollar through cost-effective care. This is extremely important when healthcare providers and systems are stretched to the limit. We need to develop improved efficiencies for population health to include prevention of disease and healthy lifestyles, as well as the traditional “find it, fix it” patchwork approach to healthcare.
The importance of reflecting on practice, agile adaptation, and a burgeoning, diverse inventory of submissions has stimulated the editorial team of Advances in Skin & Wound Care to contemplate changing the department we currently call “Commentaries.” The manuscripts we have received of late are more than just comments; they invoke the larger discussion about skin and wound care and beg thorny questions we must weigh thoughtfully and collaboratively.
According to Sackett and colleagues,1,2 evidence-based medicine/healthcare is a combination of the scientific evidence, expert knowledge (opinion), and patient preference. We know that new insights from the literature and patient care along with feedback related to patient-centered concerns can help frame new research questions and practice options. Further, adult education theory is built on reflections from practice, inspiring our new direction: “Practice Reflections.”
Of course, this change is in more than name alone. This new department aims to stimulate a dialogue between the author and readership through social media, Letters to the Editor, or subsequent Practice Reflections. It is a space for skin and wound care practitioners to discuss clinical insights and remarks based on their expert knowledge and experience to get at the heart of our shared work.
These pieces should address broad clinical skin and wound topics of interest to Advances’ international, interprofessional audience. The content may be historical, theoretical, or critical in nature. Practice Reflections will be peer-reviewed according to the journal’s usual double-blind process. Submissions regarding quality, facility, and country-specific initiatives may contain basic geographic information for the peer reviewers to contextualize the reflections. Manuscripts submitted for consideration must be original articles of no more than 2,500 words.
The first installment of Practice Reflections can be found in this issue, titled The State of Pressure Injury Science: Going Beyond Cochrane to Inform Prevention and Guideline Development. The authors discuss the art and science of generating the clinical practice evidence base, suggesting that perhaps the Cochrane review process is not the only standard we can use to change guidelines and policy. We hope this illustrates one way the column can thoughtfully approach issues relevant to our readership.
Ultimately, we hope this change fosters a new way to engage Advances readers in an active dialogue based on creative thinking. As always, we welcome your feedback! Email [email protected] for questions, concerns, or inquiries.
1. Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ 1996;312(7023):71–2.
2. Sackett DL, Straus SE, Richardson WS, Rosenberg W, Haynes RB. Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM. 2nd ed Edinburgh & New York: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.