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Health Services


Suzanne Richins


The number of chronic wounds is rising in the United States, and health leaders face the economic and health burdens these wounds pose to the U.S. health care system. Many investigators have documented the importance of leadership in promoting excellence and reducing health care costs in chronic disease. Yet, the literature lacks information regarding leader strategies used to promote wound treatment cultures of excellence directed toward improved quality and reduced health costs. This study examined leader strategies used to promote excellence in chronic wound treatment to address the problem of the economic and health burdens associated with chronic wounds. The full range leadership theory (FRLT), concepts of patient-centered care, and the disease-specific centers of excellence (COE) model served as the framework for this study. The research questions focused on identifying key leader strategies used to promote quality and excellence in chronic wound centers. Sources of information used in this case study included a questionnaire, company documents, and news articles. A sample of 30 wound COE leaders within the same company were randomly selected. Open coding and thematic data analysis of participant questionnaires generated themes of quality, communication, patient-centeredness, leadership, work environment, and team work. The study results indicated many of the leaders exhibited leadership styles and behaviors consistent with the FRLT; moreover, the use of patient-centered concepts fostered cultures of excellence. This study is important to health leaders and contributes to positive social change by identifying leadership strategies that improve health outcomes, increase quality of care, and reduce health costs associated with chronic wounds.