Providers, are you educating your patient with reminders? Patients, are you getting reminders? Below is why diabetic foot exams are important.
Make sure you are doing your part in the circle of care for the diabetic patients in your practice or facility. Are you reminding them to have an annual foot exam? The patient’s annual foot exam can be done by a Podiatrist completing a Diabetic Foot Exam. It may also be completed by the Physician managing a patient’s care for systemic diabetes by conducting a 3-minute foot exam during their yearly diabetes management appointment.
This foot exam consists of 3 components:
- Discussing patient’s diabetes-related history
- Performing a physical foot exam which includes dermatologic (a barometer for early intervention), neurologic (determines protective sensation loss), musculoskeletal (identifying foot deformity) and vascular (check for PAD)
- Providing patient education on proper foot care and footwear
*This exam takes substantially less time to complete than a comprehensive exam and eliminates common barriers to frequent assessment
*Fact: A lack of appropriate patient education regarding diabetes is a factor in >90% of recurrent ulcers.
A foot exam is crucial in identifying your risk of diabetic foot syndrome, including ulcerations, neuropathy, and foot deformities. It is beneficial to combine your diabetes management and foot exam visits into one because it may help identify changes in your diabetes and prevent potential foot complications from arising. In addition, it allows for timely referrals and services for intervention, such as receiving a prescription for special diabetic shoes which may be covered by Medicare.