At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) we know that as a podiatric practitioner, your goal is provide the best foot health care to your patients. You can increase positive outcomes by emphasizing a total body approach to health and inspiring your patients to become proactive and preventive in their self care.
One way to do this is by helping your patients make connections between aspects of a healthy lifestyle and their feet. Below are some examples to show what we mean:
- Use national health awareness months to call attention to issues that can impact the feet. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. It’s a great time to encourage your patients to get a comprehensive eye exam and stress the role that vision loss can play in foot trauma, slips and falls.
- Educate patients on dietary issues and how they can positively or negatively influence foot health. Discuss foods that can trigger inflammatory responses and those that suppress them for patients with gout, arthritis or other diseases that affect the joints of the feet and ankles. Inform patients about the reduction in risk factors and severity of specific foot conditions that are connected to being overweight and emphasize the importance of a well-balanced, nutritious diet to help patients get to or maintain a healthy weight.
- Let patients know that you, their foot doctor, want to be sure that they are seeing other physicians as necessary and taking care of chronic diseases that ultimately affect foot health, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Provide information about smoking cessation resources, especially for patients planning foot surgeries. Since smoking impedes circulation there’s an added benefit to quitting for surgical patients—faster healing.
- Send patients reminders when it’s time to schedule their regular foot exams. Be sure to let your patients know that their feet can be an early warning system for several diseases that affect the entire body and the importance of detecting foot disorders in their earliest stages to avoid invasive treatments and potential disability.
At IPED, part of our mission is to enable foot health professionals at every stage of their careers—from residents and students to experienced physicians—to share information and techniques for improving patient outcomes. We do this through webinars, blogs, videos, meetings and more. Contact us for more information and membership benefits by calling: 978-296-7634.