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When Should You Refer To A Podiatrist? (1)

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Title: When Should You Refer To A Podiatrist? (1)


1
When Should You Refer To A Podiatrist?
  • BY
  • http//www.advancedanklefoot.com/

2
Medicine is a wonderful, varied profession
covering the body from head to toe. From the
internist who serves as gatekeeper and to the
specialized surgeon, the body is well cared for
from head to toe. Podiatry has become specialized
over the past decades to include everything from
sports medicine and ankle surgery to wound care.
Often, the challenge in medicine for the
practitioner is to know when to refer a patient
to a specialist with more specialized training.
3
Podiatric foot and ankle physicians and surgeons
provide comprehensive medical and surgical care
for a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions
including common to complex disorders and
injuries that affect people of all ages. They are
uniquely qualified to detect the early stages of
diseases that exhibit warning signs in the lower
extremities, such as diabetes, arthritis and
cardiovascular disease, and they manage foot and
conditions which may compromise the quality of
life this include a vast array of medical
conditions spanning various body systems such as
integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous,
endocrine, cardiovascular system etc.  The
federal government is pursuing a patient-centered
care delivery model, aimed at improving patient
care quality, efficiency and savings.  This is
leading to a paradigm shift in traditional
medical thinking. These changes will require the
healthcare providers/industry to embrace a
strategy of collaborative partnership and
clinical integration with the intent to improve
patient care.
4
How can podiatrists improve patient care quality,
efficiency and savings?   Lets use diabetes as
an example.  Diabetes is a pandemic problem that
results in an amputation every 20 seconds. The
CDC says 1 in 10 adults currently have diabetes
and rapidly rising also diabetes costs
245 BILLION to the healthcare system (as of
2012). Every five minutes, a patient will lose a
limb in the U.S. due to diabetes.
Diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs) are precursors
to amputation. Since time is of the essence when
it comes to tissue loss and healing, prompt
intervention in patients with diabetic foot
disorders may preserve limbs, restore function
and keep patients out of hospitals.  We are all
aware of the commonly quoted statistic that 1
of the patient population accounts for 20 of all
healthcare expenses hence timely and prompt
podiatric consultation and intervention will
result in improved quality, efficiency and
savings.  This care is integral in reducing
hospital stays, keeping patients active and
helping to bring overall healthcare costs down. 
Outcomes data shows DPMs provide high-volume,
quality, safe, and cost-effective care,
especially related to chronic conditions like
diabetes. Since more of the U.S. population is
expected to be diagnosed with diabetic mellitus,
peripheral arterial disease and other high risk
lower extremity ailments over the coming years,
DPMs will continue to be a valued partner in
delivering primary and specialty care to this
growing chronic disease and other at-risk
populations.
5
Patient centered health care requires healthcare
providers to work as a team, communicate among
all specialties, and know when and where to
refer. Maintaining good relations with other
physicians in different specialties will make for
a smoother transition to accomplish a common
goal.  After all, the different specialties make
up the sum of all parts for treating the human
body from head to toe.   Aprajita Nakra, DPM,
FACFAS Board Certified, Reconstructive Foot and
Ankle Surgeon Advanced Ankle and Foot Gilbert
Casa Grande, AZ http//advancedankleandfootaz.com/
drnakra_at_hotmail.com 480-962-4281
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