EWMA excels at Excel
Last year, two days in May saw the 25th conference of the European Wound Management Association (EWMA) being held at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands. The setting was quite apt – Docklands was once a busy port which saw the arrival of both goods and people from across the world, and once again, with delegates from 78 countries, the docksides rang out with the cadence of Babellian tongues.
A glance at the weighty tome that was the programme immediately informed delegates that they were in for a two-day festival of oral, poster and e-poster presentations, which would cover everything from biofilms to making decisions using Cochrane reviews, and centre on the theme ‘Wound Care – Shaping the Future’. Keynote plenary sessions, workshops, free paper sessions, partner organisation sessions, and symposia were ‘mashed up’ into a packed programme of almost 900 events. Delegates whizzed between sessions along corridors, up and down escalators, and occasionally merely wandered around in circles slightly befuddled by the sheer choice on offer.
The opening plenary reflected the conference theme with presentations from representatives of the main players in the wound management journey; the patient, the professional, the provider and the payer. Each has to work together to ensure continuity of care and good practice, and are faced with both challenges opportunities in delivery in the future.
Having set the tone, the rest of the programme, devised and delivered by EWMA and the Tissue Viability Society (TVS) in collaboration with EWMA’s cooperating organisations and international partners, didn’t disappoint. Keynote sessions covered wound care in the palliative, paediatric and dementia patient, the use of eHealth in wound care, tissue engineering, and the psychosocial issues associated with a chronic wound.
Workshops provided theoretical and practical experience in debridement, offloading, and designing a registry of wounds, amongst others. Perhaps one of the most interesting was the session entitled ‘Can Cochrane reviews inform your clinical decision making? Wound management should of course, be based on the best possible evidence, so it is important to know how to ensure that the evidence used is of the best quality.
Each year, the EWMA organising committee invite a number of guest organisations to talk to delegates about their activities and to facilitate delegate awareness. This year, guests included the World Alliance for Wound and Lymphoedema Care (http://www.wawlc.org/home.html), the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (http://www.espen.org/), the Leg Ulcer Forum (http://www.legulcerforum.org), the International Compression Club (http://www.tagungsmanagement.org), and the International Lymphoedema Framework (www.lympho.org). In addition, EWMAs international partner, the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (http://www.aawconline.org) presented their global view of the conference theme.
Two years ago, EWMA and the European Health Telematics Association launched their eHealth symposium at the conference. As EWMA stated in the programme:
More and more, eHealth is being introduced as an important approach to solve the future challenges that our health care systems will face… What we see now is the rapid development of available technologies with increasing examples… where eHealth is already part of routine care… The hope is that use of these technologies will lead to more responsive care of higher quality and at lower costs. What is now important is to understand how this can be achieved.
The symposium therefore presented guidance documentation for the use of eHealth in wound care, the expectations for future health care systems, and the need for organisational changes and shifts in roles of the patients and the health care professionals in relation to implementation of eHealth services.
Satellite symposia were provided by a number of wound care companies and covered leg ulceration, pressure ulcer prevention and wound assessment. On the topic of companies, a word has to be said about the exhibition. It was quite amazing! 131 companies, organisations, and associations had spaces varying from the very, very big to the quite tiny in which to show off their wares or share information. Representatives manned (and womanned!) the stands with enthusiasm and fortitude; and with over 4000 delegates, both qualities were required in spades!
All in all, it was a fabulous conference. Now let's get ready for for 2016, May 11th – 13th, Bremen, Germany.
Already the programme looks fabulous. Already more delegates are expected, already there will be more exhibitors.
Can you afford to miss it?!
More information at: http://www.ewma2016.org/
More information on the 2015 conference can be found at http://www.ewma2015.0rg