Can Teams Trump Technology When It Comes To Optimal Care For High-Risk Patients?

David G. Armstrong DPM MD PhD

Can teams trump technology in the new healthcare debate? I ask this question because I continuously see many patients referred to the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) who have been relegated to amputation. This is not because they have not had access to technology. In fact, most have had extensive work done by well-intentioned clinicians. What frustrates me, and I know my SALSA partners agree as well, is the lack of access to a team.

Recently, I was sitting in front of an X-ray of a patient who had extensive endovascular intervention. However, the patient had no follow through to manage her complex wound when the isolated procedure failed. Why?

The cynic would suggest that it is because the procedure was reimbursed well but the necessary healing and preventative follow-up was perhaps less fiscally rewarding. Therefore, one may feel it easier to justify doing nothing or cutting the limb off.

The point is that the current discussion on healthcare must work out some sort of balance to support medical and surgical teamwork instead of simply what we call one off “proceduralism”. I know there must be a way. Too many smart people are involved and committed for this opportunity to pass.

Editor’s note: This blog was adapted with permission from where it originally appeared at

Add new comment