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  • Writer's pictureNSWOCC

Why Canada Needs NSWOCs Part 1: Higher Quality Care

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

A System Under Strain


Every year, Canada’s provincial and territorial governments spend more than $250 billion in total on health care (Canadian Institute for Health Information [CIHI], 2018). In the next decade as the country’s population ages, that spending is only going to increase. Longer life expectancies and declining fertility rates are contributing to an overall older demographic (World Health Organization, 2015). Economic models predict that healthcare costs will rise by 1% each year between 2010 and 2036 due to population aging alone (Mackenzie & Rachlis, 2010).

So, how can we achieve a sustainable healthcare system?

Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (NSWOCs) can Help!


Registered Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOCs) can help alleviate the financial strain facing administrators and policymakers through the provision of higher quality care, reduced costs, and improved outcomes for patients.

In this article, we will be focusing on how the high-quality care provided by NSWOCs improves outcomes for patients, care providers, and the healthcare industry as a whole.

NSWOCs Provide High Quality Care

High-quality care improves outcomes for patients and care providers. This includes shorter stays and reduced care costs through lower rates of hospital-acquired conditions such as pressure injuries (Boyle, Bergquist-Beringer, & Cramer, 2017). Rates of hospital-acquired conditions are an important indicator of overall performance, which makes minimizing these a key priority for healthcare administrators.


NSWOCs improve quality of care by:

Providing care based on evidence and supported by trust

  • A literature review (Baich et al., 2010) examining NSWOCs’ impact in home care for patients with wounds identified determined that NSWOCs contribute to greater healing success, faster healing times, increased interest in wound care education among other nurses, and the introduction of standardized protocols for wound care.

  • NSWOCs tend to be dedicated patient advocates, ensuring patients receive the most appropriate care for their circumstances. This helps build trust between the patient and the provider.

  • NSWOCs also contribute to the quality of care as educators of patients and other practitioners. They often share their knowledge with interdisciplinary team members and other staff who can then apply it in their own roles. By developing quality-enhancing procedures, guidelines, and protocols, NSWOCs inform the selection of suitable, cost-effective supplies and equipment (Boyle et al., 2017).

Preventing Hospital-acquired conditions

For a More Sustainable System


Ultimately, with a tri-specialization in wound, ostomy and continence, NSWOCs are helping address the challenges facing Canada’s healthcare system. Employing NSWOCs is an effective strategy for controlling costs through high-quality, evidence-based care that leads to better outcomes for patients. NSWOCs bring about these benefits as care providers but also as sources of specialized knowledge for interdisciplinary healthcare teams, care consultants to other health professionals, as well as through best practice and protocol development, research and other avenues.

To learn more about the power of NSWOCs, visit the link below and stay tuned for our next article exploring how NSWOCs lower healthcare costs across Canada!


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