Can Community-Based Programs Help Prevent Lower Extremity Amputations?
Utilizing the DRIVE Day protocol, clinicians in Cook County, Ill., were able to significantly improve access and efficacy of care for their diabetic patient population despite limited resources.16 Clinicians also had an opportunity for patients with diabetes to take a more active role in their care.16
Considering the significant risk associated with the development of DFUs and subsequent progression toward lower extremity amputation, it is incumbent upon those clinicians involved in the care of patients with diabetes to implement screening processes that can help to prevent lower extremity ulcerations.
Community-based programs, which partner the patient and healthcare provider and empower the patient to take a more active role in the management of their disease process, have demonstrated efficacy. Such programs can provide clinicians an opportunity to perform preemptory screening and risk stratification among these high-risk patients, and triage these patients toward appropriate, timely intervention. This limits the comorbidity and mortality associated with the lower extremity manifestations of diabetes.
Dr. Fitzgerald is in private practice at Hess Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Harrisonburg, Va. He is an Associate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Dr. Steinberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Steinberg is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.