Patient education for diabetic patients. An integral part of quality health care

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  • 1 Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, USA.
  • | 2 Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, USA.
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The diabetic patient is at high risk for developing long-term medical complications including serious foot problems with potential loss of limb. With today's growing awareness of the importance of curtailing overall health care costs, the importance of comprehensive diabetic patient education programs is academic. It is demonstrated that a multidisciplinary approach to diabetic care management, with foot care assessment encompassing early preventive measures, can serve as a model for other Veterans Affairs Medical Centers to follow. Foot screenings can individualize specific foot problems and provide an understanding of risk factors to prevent complications. Patients with diabetes or peripheral vascular disease and, especially those individuals at risk of foot ulceration, are referred to the appropriate clinic for ongoing management to prevent amputation. Patient education is considered most effective when it is encouraged throughout a diabetic patient's medical care, and it becomes a part of lifestyle habits.