EMIS Health has partnered with Diabetes UK to issue new Information Prescriptions on vital foot care for people with diabetes.
It is the latest in a series of Information Prescriptions developed by the charity to help clinicians and their patients better manage the potentially life-threatening condition, which affects 4.6m people in the UK. Left untreated, foot problems in diabetes patients can lead to amputations and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Nearly 9,000 people a year lose a leg, toe, or foot due to diabetes, and the annual cost to the NHS of treating foot complications is estimated at £1bn a year.
Each Information Prescription comes equipped with an action plan to support behaviour change. Patients agree actions for better diabetes management during consultations with their clinician. Information Prescriptions are available on EMIS Web clinical systems and are currently used by more than 4,500 GP practices in the UK.
EMIS Web users can refer to the new feet Information Prescriptions – tailored for patients with a low risk or a medium/high risk – as a tool to prompt conversations about foot care with their patients with diabetes during consultations. Information Prescription alerts pop up on patient records to remind healthcare professionals which prescription the patient would benefit from. They can also be printed off for patients to take home and use for reference.
EMIS Health and Diabetes UK first launched Information Prescriptions two years ago. Other topics include contraception and pregnancy, HbA1c, kidney disease and mood.
Amy Rylance, head of healthcare engagement and development at Diabetes UK said: “We developed our latest feet Information Prescriptions in response to demand from clinicians and patients. Diabetes causes 24 amputations every day – many of which could have been prevented. It is important for patients to be aware of foot problems that can develop with diabetes and feel empowered to seek advice and support to self-manage their condition and know what to do if they need further help.”
Charles Odiase, an advanced clinical practitioner and diabetes lead at Reading Walk-in Health Centre in Berkshire has piloted the new Information Prescription. Around half of the patients he sees every week have diabetes. He said: “People cannot take in too much at once during a consultation and they need high quality information to refer to when they get home. This is concise, and I like the action plan box.