Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pushing for Prevention - Encompass Network Partners offer help in diabetic foot screenings

"Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes, and as a result of their condition, diabetics are 15 times more likely to have an amputation of a lower extremity. The American Diabetes Association estimated that more than one-half of amputations could be avoided, which would result in a costs savings of $24,000 to $40,000 for each prevented amputation."

Encompass Network Partners has set out to meet the challenge of diabetic foot screenings in dialysis patients. They have developed a Web-based application that aids clinic staff in performing foot checks and connects clinics with a network of foot-care specialists.

The crux of the service is prevention and treating the condition before there is a major issue down the road. "The biggest thing who we found in interviewing and going in and out of clinics was they wanted help for patients who already had black toe or had lost one toe maybe, and they were wanting limbs salvaged," said Clay Bullard, Encompass president. "But secondarily, we found that they don’t do any type of screening ahead of time. It’s kind of one of those elephants in the room that everybody knows is there but nobody wants to talk about."

Encompass recognized that dialysis centers and nephrologists wanted to help their patients, and that vascular physicians knew the patient load existed, said Bullard. So it set out to create a network that could connect the two sides.

Do you think dialysis centers should be more pro-active in treating patients' Peripheral Vascular complications (foot screenings)?

Would love to get your feedback. Comment and tell us what you think.

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