Pilot defined health care paths for those with diabetic foot ulcers from hospital admission to rehabilitation

Health economic analysis indicates that diabetic foot ulcers leading to prolonged hospitalization and/or amputation are among the highest costs in our health care system. Of the $1.6 billion in direct health care costs in Ontario for diabetes and its complications, $400 million are related to diabetic foot ulcer disease alone. Recent analytics from the GEMINI group at St. Michael’s has revealed that, among 7 Toronto hospitals, the mean in-patient cost for treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer is $22,754 per hospital stay and $48,808 if a major amputation is required.

This team has recently developed a pilot end-to-end health care delivery path at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto that tracks patients with diabetic foot ulcers that require intensive treatment from admission to hospital, to rehabilitation - a previously fragmented process. This process is a chiropody led approach that includes assessments from entry into emergency room to rehabilitation with appropriate triage from internal medicine and vascular surgery.

Graphic to depict pilot study to track patients from hospital admission to rehabilitation.

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