The local community hospital recently launched a Virtual Wound Care Program, which allows physicians and nurses to email digital photographs of patients’ wounds to the hospital’s internal certified wound care specialist 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it the only program in the region with this unlimited access. The hospital’s certified wound care specialist is a registered nurse and one of only 15 in the state certified by the American College of Certified Wound Specialists.

The certified wound care specialist carefully examines photos online, quickly determines the severity of the wound and gets back to clinicians at the hospital with a diagnosis and plan of treatment.

“The Virtual Wound Care Program is a great addition to the comprehensive care we offer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford,” said Brian Pinelle, site administrator and associate chief nursing officer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford. “The new program allows staff to recognize, diagnose and treat wounds more quickly and efficiently, so that patients can get back on their feet.”

A surprising number of people require wound care at some point in their lives. Around 15 percent of patients with diabetes will have a chronic, non-healing wound during their lifetimes. Other patients may experience non-healing wounds for other reasons such as radiation therapy, trauma or other medical conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment of wounds is essential, as wounds left untreated can lead to a blood stream infection and other serious medical complications.

“This not only results in timely treatment for our patients, but also alerts me when a patient that I've worked with in the past is back in the hospital, thereby providing an opportunity for continuity of care,” said Sharon Codi Turcotte, the hospital’s certified wound care specialist. “I can reassure the patient and family that we’re all communicating on their behalf.”

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Melrose, Hallmark Health Cancer Center, Stoneham, and Hallmark Health Medical Center.

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