Business Basics: In A Wound Facility

James Calder, Managing Editor, TWC

Tne highly debated issue among wound care professionals is whether or not a facility operator/director needs prior experience in medicine, let alone wound care.
By taking a closer look at leaders who did not start out with an extensive medical background, others in the industry can gain insight to ideas and tactics they may be missing within their own facilities.
Paula Kreissler is president and owner of Wound Care Clinic–ESU, Inc. a two office wound care facility located in Savannah and Pooler, Georgia. She literally made the transition from packages to wounds.
Kreissler and her employees believe that her managerial experience outside of wound care is her strongest asset.

Introduction to wound care

Having been first introduced to the wound care specialty via attending a wound care seminar in 2002, later that year she spent a week in a wound care clinic.

Kreissler officially came to the specialty of wound care in April of 2005, by successfully opening Wound Care Clinic’s first location in Savannah. Even though she didn’t hold a medical background, she was motivated with a rich business portfolio, with career highlights including being a extensively skilled manger at FedEx.

“Many in wound care believe this is an advantage for running a facility,” Kreissler said. “It is a great advantage coming from a business background. However, the disadvantage is not being familiar with all of the medical terminology.”

The facility most recently opened a second clinic in July 2007, 15 miles Northwest of Savannah in Pooler, Ga.

“FedEx was a great place to develop my leadership skills,” she said. “FedEx invests lots of training time for front-line employees and management. The basic philosophy at FedEx is ‘people-service-profit—which basically means if you put your people first, excellent service will follow and then the profits.”
Kreissler is convinced that basic leadership works across all business spectrums.

Results of Good Leadership
Kreissler has utilized her leadership skills and business knowledge to successfully start and operate a thriving wound care facility.
Wound Care Clinic currently has 18 employees including an MD, Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapist, LPNs, CNAS, and administrative staff.

“We have two locations each with five treatment rooms,” Kreissler explained.
One of the things that help distinguish Wound Care Clinic is that they have been specializing in Electrical Stimulation and Ultrasound (ESU) since their very first patient.
“We used it in our first patient and continue to use it on all patients,” she said.

Kreissler finds pride in the fact that they are independent from
hospital clinics.
“We are basically independent from the hospitals,” she explained. “The therapies which we use are different than the local hospital-based wound care centers. Our clinics are small and intimate and our patients love that.”
Kreissler claims that the key to her facilities growth and success has been its core values:

We respect everyone every
second of the day.
We always put the patient first.
We profitably heal every patient.
We keep a smile on our face and laughter in our heart.
We add value to our lives and other’s lives by always acting and speaking with kindness.

“I have these available in staff meetings, we have a copy in our marketing packet, I refer to them when I speak on leadership and at business meetings,” she said. “I also present them to potential new hires at the beginning of an interview and request their feedback.”

Greatest Challenges
Kreissler claims that the biggest challenge so far occurred while starting her journey in wound care.
“Writing the business plan, having enough money in the bank to operate, finding the right location, hiring the right staff, and getting the word out that we are open,” she said.

Kreissler says since opening the second clinic it has been a challenge spending equal time in each center. She also claimed that billing and determining the most cost effective marketing is always a challenge, but surprisingly her staff has not been a problem or a challenge.
“I have people waiting for an opportunity to work here,” Kreissler said. “We have a great staff and they all work great together.”

Melanie Finnocchiaro is a board certified family nurse practitioner and the clinical director of the wound care clinic.
“Paula and I started out with two employees—she and I were it for a while,” Finocchiaro said.
She believes that Wound Care Clinic–ESU, Inc. is the best wound care clinic to work for because of
several reasons.

“Our work place has a set of core values that reflect who we are–including respect for everyone, kindness, and compassion, and a focus on healing the patients,” Finnocchiaro said. “We are very innovative and creative–good problem solvers and not afraid to learn something new and better–that may help our patient heal. We take care of our patients physically, emotionally, and spiritually—holistic care.”

Advertising, Marketing, and PR
It seems that some of Kreissler's strongest initiatives are ones that are commonplace in most business operations across fields, such as advertising, marketing and PR.
One key to her business model is utilizing an external PR/Marketing team comprised of several local small business, which she says are experts in the field.
“I have a public relations/marketing team and they have helped tremendously,” Kreissler said.

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says: November 3.2009 at 15:38 pm

Enjoyed reading about you. I have a private wound care practice in rural Montana, travel to hospitals and LTC facilities and see out pts.
Where can I best learn more about Estim? I have some pts who may benefit.
Thank you,

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seo116says: September 22.2010 at 03:22 am

Results of Good Leadership
Kreissler has utilized her leadership skills and business knowledge to successfully start and operate a thriving wound care facility.
Wound Care Clinic currently has 18 employees including an MD, Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapist, LPNs, CNAS, and administrative staff.
Grain Flaker

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