Frequently asked wound care questions:
Q: How do I know if I need a wound specialist?
A: Within four weeks smaller sized wounds should have healed. A larger wound should have decreased by half the original size in four weeks.
Q: What can I do if I am unable to perform the necessary dressing changes by myself?
A: We have several ways to help this issue, Medicare and most insurance companies will help pay for dressing materials. We will place the appropriate order and the products we select for you will be mailed to your home. We will teach, demonstrate and instruct any person you choose in proper technique and will see you back as often as needed to monitor progress. In some cases, a home health nurse will be selected and instructed to come to your home and perform the needed care for you. Insurance pays for this as well.
Opening a Wound Care Clinic...How Hard Can It Be?
By Matthew Boyle
It was Spring-time, 2009, when I received that unexpected call from the doctor. At the age of 21, I was studying Biology and Music full-time at Santa Barbara City College in California. I had a good job working part-time at a beachside hotel as a concierge and valet. The doctor who called me that day was my father, Dr. Bret Boyle and he said, “Matthew, I left my job here in Utah and I need your help to open our own clinic.” My first thought was “Utah? I don’t want to move to Utah!” My family had relocated from Augusta, Georgia to Salt Lake City a year prior after 13 years of active duty military life that included living in countries such as Italy, Korea and Hawaii (yes, Hawaii is very much a different country). My dad was hired as medical director of a wound care center in Salt Lake City and was very excited for the civilian lifestyle and the opportunities that this new position might bring. But now he was telling me he had left that job after just one and a half years? He continued saying, “The clinic here is not a good fit and I cannot work there anymore. I want you to move here and attend the University of Utah while working with me to open our own practice.” It so happened that after being away for about three years I was feeling pretty homesick, so I packed everything into my Toyota, Camry and drove to northern Utah.
Salt Lake immediately became my new favorite place on Earth. Although few places can compare to the beauty of Santa Barbara’s beaches and the charm of the Spanish architecture; the mountains of Utah are as majestic as they get. My three brothers and I were strongly attracted to the world-class mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, etc. And that is only what the warmer months afford! The winters created a whole new list of exhilarating fun. My family had just moved into a home up against the Wasatch mountains and had a great view of the valley and the Oquirrh Mountains. Suffice it to say, I was happy to be here!
The clinic took much longer to come to fruition than we imagined. The first phase was finding the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to buy or create, as the old paper chart system was quickly vanishing. We spent endless hours, over several weeks researching the available programs. Once we made a selection, many more weeks were spent building the templates necessary for the specialty of wound care. Based on dad’s experience and some brainstorming we came up with a “mobile wound care service”. I wrote the following in my medical school application to summarize our business and my part in it:
Physician Wound Care began as a mobile medical service unique to Utah, providing at-the-bedside wound care to residents in local nursing facilities and home bound individuals. This form of wound care was accessible to the many debilitated patients who could not easily be seen in a clinic setting. It was my job initially to create all of the wound care electronic documentation templates with the doctor. During the patient visits I acted as a scribe, documenting the patient's medical history, vitals, medications, dressing instructions, and wound measurements as well as taking photos of the wounds.
Each day of the week we would travel around the valley to various nursing facilities and individual homes while my dad wheeled a big briefcase full of supplies and I lugged around a heavy laptop and a small camera. This style of wound care in a nursing facility room or bedroom was far more challenging than we both expected. Much of the time, room lighting was so poor that adequately visualizing important details of the wound and surrounding skin was nearly impossible. So we strapped a headlamp to my dad’s head which could light up a cave. Our lap-top system required a constant Ethernet or Wi-Fi internet connection; however the signal would drop out almost every time we entered a patient’s room. Despite these and many other unmentioned challenges, we managed to help many with life and/or limb-threatening wounds and bedsores. In addition, we educated and trained the various caregivers to carry out the plan of care required to heal the wounds. We also established lasting relationships with many of the residents, nursing staff and family members which would prove invaluable to our next big leap of faith.
“Physician Wound Care Specialists of Utah has a nice to ring to it!” I proclaimed after the words left my father’s mouth. He told me the new clinic would be at St. Mark’s Hospital on the 3rd floor with an awesome view of the mountains. We had finally concluded our search over the span of nearly two years of visiting countless buildings in order to find the right space to build our clinic. I had also recently discovered a new EHR to use in the clinic which was specifically designed to run on Apple’s iPad. So again, the tremendous task of building unique new templates for this system began. Around that same time we were working diligently on a company logo. We made attempts to create it ourselves, but to no avail. We then tried graphic designers but nothing seemed to be the right fit. Then a bright, young student nurse who we had worked with in one of the nursing facilities mentioned one day that she had some training in graphic design. My dad described the basics of what he was looking for and she came up with the perfect logo! The clinic space was leased, the documentation software was set up, and we were very happy with our name and logo. The next step was to hire an office manager and a Medical Assistant with experience in wound care.
Our initial thought for an office manager was a sweet and smart University graduate named Christina who we knew through church. Unfortunately, Christina was already quite happy with her job at the University. So we ended up asking her then fiancé, now husband, Bryant who had recently graduated from the U and was looking for work. Bryant displayed the enthusiasm, intelligence and compassion that we were looking for and therefore started the training process while we were still performing the mobile service. For the Medical Assistant position we were very fortunate to find Jolynn who had worked in a wound clinic for some years and knew the ropes well. Our team was assembled! Now we just needed the patients to come; and they came!
Physician Wound Care Specialists of Utah has been open for a little over a year now and we have been astounded by the amount of people in need of wound care. We were told before we started that our clinic would fail and that opening your own family business in this day and age spelled doom. I think the exact phrase was, “You’ll never make it as a wound care clinic!” Yet we held onto the belief that we had the right people with the right intentions and therefore we “put our hand to the plow and have not looked back”. Our success truly shows that hard work, perseverance and most of all faith pays off! Looking back on everything I am grateful and amazed that we made it to where we are. Most of all, I am thankful for how this has made us all closer as a family.
Matthew is Dr. Boyle’s eldest son who is graduating from the University of Utah and applying to medical schools for the fall of 2014. When at the clinic you will see Matthew wearing a variety of ‘hats’. He manages all of the clinic’s computers, printers, iPad’s, and other miscellaneous technology; he is often answering phones and doing patient scheduling, or working with patients in the treatment rooms to expand his skills as a medical assistant. Matthew is gifted musically and has performed since the age of 11 when he landed his first paid job performing piano in a restaurant. He has continued to play for five star hotels, fine dinner restaurants, parties, weddings and teaches advanced piano as well as an accompanist for ‘5 to 1 Music Studio’. Matthew is also an accomplished jazz saxophonist having played at Fashion Place Mall, Salt Lake Community College, The Wasatch Jazz Project and the Phoenix Big Band, which are both 20-piece big bands. Some recordings available at In his spare time you will find Matt with his three brothers playing basketball and working out at Gold’s gym.
As Seen in
Living Well Magazine