Do we need to purchase and stock multiple brands of wound care products because our physicians request specific products?

Wound care product companies promote a dizzying array of products. Sometimes practitioners request specific products that you may not regularly have on hand. Purchasing these one-off products is usually more expensive overall. Unused, unopened products can pass their expiration date while shelved in your supply cabinet and be wasted. 

Instead of blindly following orders for specific products, it makes sense to work with your practitioners and wound specialists to develop and maintain a standard wound care product formulary that meets the needs of your patients and doesn’t break the bank.

First, it is best to work with your practitioners, medical director and wound specialist to agree on goals in developing a wound care formulary. In general, there are very few products on the market that are unique to a particular company. All major companies carry wound care products that fit into the most commonly used categories, such as transparent superficial dressings, hydrocolloid dressings, foam dressings, etc. 

I reviewed many similar products of multiple companies and found that there isn’t much difference between products in the same category. It really comes down to deciding which product line makes sense for your organization. During the discussion with your practitioners, it is helpful to talk about and agree on general approaches to care, including avoidance of antiquated practices.

It’s helpful to have a chart available for staff of wounds’ different types and stages and the recommended formulary product(s) for each. This helps staff choose an acceptable dressing and be good stewards of the facility’s resources. This also helps to standardize wound care, which should improve outcomes.