According to an article on APMA’s site, 60-70% of all diabetics will deal with at least some form of nerve damage from the disease, whether mild or severe. The conditions they face range from impaired sensation, to foot ulcers to foot and leg amputation. With the high percentage of probability of experiencing nerve damage, the APMA believes that routine foot care is imperative for diabetics and those at risk for developing it.
Luckily, the use of electronic medical records greatly improves a diabetic patient’s care experience. EMRs specifically tailored for the podiatry specialty use templates that focus on the feet rather than the whole body. Podiatry EMRs feature pre-loaded exam templates to evaluate complaints common in diabetics such as calluses, cracked skin, numbness and poor circulation along with other symptoms associated with diabetes. A routine basic foot exam template keeps tabs on the prevention or progression of nerve damage in patients’ feet. Diagnosis and treatment information from the exams can be automatically transferred to referral letters sent to the patient’s primary care physician or endocrinologist.
Implementing a patient portal with an EMR solution lets patients access their medical records from their own computer. More importantly, a portal can remind patients to stay on their preventative exam schedule. Patients can also request their appointments and prescription refills over the portal as well as communicate with their podiatrist.