EWMA Focus Areas for the years 2019–2021
Alberto Piaggesi, MD
EWMA has, in recent years, gained a stronger reputation in the field of wound management, and new members, conference participants and other stakeholders have decided to join us, constantly increasing the dimension of our association and bringing in new ideas and contributions.
EWMA continues a constructive and positive collaboration with industry, and this has resulted in stable sponsor engagement and support, and thus a solid financial foundation for the association.
I believe that these good results, which are based on the excellent work of all those members of the council and other collaborators involved, are the result of EWMA’s pursuit of a consistently high quality in all the activities of the association. It is therefore crucial to me to continue work that supports scientific progress and the continuous development of good clinical practices, communication and education in wound care in the years to come.
The focus areas for my time as EWMA President will, therefore, be the following:
1. Engagement of stakeholders and the pursuit of high quality in all EWMA
- Despite the increased quality of the scientific, educational and advocacy activities organised by EWMA, there is always room for continuous improvement in each of these three main areas. Thus, the efforts to continuously increase the quality of all EWMA activities will be maintained during my time as EWMA President.
- EWMA will continue to invite various stakeholders to suggest projects addressing current challenges and opportunities in wound management, and to develop activities or publications based on these proposals.
- EWMA will continue to support new research and clinical projects in wound management via grants, exchange programs and networking, with special attention paid to the contributions of early-in-career scientists and clinicians.
2. Improvement of the quality of the scientific programmes at EWMA conferences
- EWMA will improve and maintain the high quality of its scientific programme by carefully selecting topics and speakers, increasing the variety of lectures and rotating the speakers, with special attention paid to early-in-career scientists and professionals presenting new ideas and arguments. Close attention will be paid to the originality, novelty and neutrality of the original contributions.
- The format of the scientific programme will be maintained, but there will be an increased number of interactive sessions, laboratories, focus groups, practical sessions, case displays and discussions, meet-the-experts sessions and debates.
- In addition to the more traditional clinical topics, the focus on topics such as health economy, health technology assessment, biotechnologies, person-centred care and communication and the general organisation of care will be increased, to provide a wider perspectives on wound management as a scientific and clinical discipline.
3. Development of the educational activities of EWMA
- EWMA will continue to focus on the development of standardised wound management education in Europe. In connection with these activities, EWMA will work to develop a clear and operational strategy for supporting the implementation of standardised curricula and will conduct regular revisions of these according to recent developments in guidelines, regulations, etc.
- EWMA will consider the development of new educational activities, such as the education and training of health care professionals in various wound aetiologies and aspects of wound management.
- EWMA will work to provide more tools supporting the education of patients and private caregivers beyond the clinical and technical aspects of care (Including communication tools and psychological skills).
4. EWMA & health care politics
EWMA aims to remain an independent European organisation that gathers individuals, societies and companies with an interest or involvement in wound care. In this role, it is crucial for EWMA to remain an inclusive and open organisation, collaborating with all the stakeholders engaged in wound management and operating under the same principles. Some concrete examples of activities during my time as EWMA President include EWMA’s plans to:
- Host a World Diabetic Foot Day in London during the EWMA 2020 Conference and invite all the societies engaged in the management of the diabetic foot (DF) to participate and contribute actively to the programme.
- Continue to support the implementation of the international DF guidelines, among other things, via the EWMA Programme for the Endorsement of Wound Centres.
- Continue and further develop a close collaboration with societies outside Europe to realise activities and projects that address common challenges and promote chronic wounds as a public health problem.
- Pursue joint projects aiming for increased data collection across countries and with the involvement of various stakeholders, with the objective of providing documentation of the dimension of chronic wounds as a public health problem.
5. Person-centred care – a continued focus area of EWMA
In recent years, purely evidence-based medicine (EVM) has been challenged by critics claiming that the exclusive focus on evidence-based data has contributed to separating the clinical practice from the patient. Person- or patient-centred care approaches (locally defined as ‘medical humanities’) aim to support increased patient empowerment. The philosophy behind this approach, which is not an alternative, but complementary to EVM, is to involve the patient in his or her treatment and care process with the objective of optimising the outcomes. To further support this patient-oriented approach, EWMA will:
- Publish a document and instructive video material illustrating the implementation of person-centred care in the encounters between patients and wound care professionals, with the aim of increasing the use of these approaches in the field of wound management. These materials will be launched at the EWMA 2020 Conference in London.
- Use the ‘Living with Chronic Wounds’ project to promote a better understanding of various patient cases among health care professionals, decision makers and other stakeholders.
- Develop a course on communication between wound care professionals and patients, focusing on the patient/caregiver relationship. This course is planned to be available in 2021.
6. Sustainability in Wound Care
As one of the most important associations in wound care, EWMA has the responsibility of facing the issue of sustainability and promoting interventions, strategies and programmes in this field involving scientists, clinicians and companies. As part of these efforts, EWMA will:
- Search for partnerships in the scientific field, scouting for institutions, researchers and programmes that are actively engaged in these activities, with the objective of discussing possible collaborations and engaging them in a focus session on sustainability in wound care during the EWMA 2020 Conference in London
- Start a discussion about the notion of sustainability among EWMA members and industry partners
- Encourage research projects on sustainable wound care materials, strategies and technologies as part of the EWMA Research Grant programme
- Promote and pursue sustainability inside EWMA through measures such as reduced travel activities, sustainable conference planning, etc.
Surely this is an ambitious program to be developed in a two-year presidential term, and I am aware of the complexity of the issues and the challenges that the pursuit of such objectives places on the shoulders of the EWMA organisation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that EWMA has not only the responsibility, but also the power, to reach these targets. I am sure that I can count on the active participation of all the members of our association in our efforts to address these challenges and further promote the health and wellbeing of our patients.