A joint infectious disease-podiatry clinic (JIDPC) in which an infectious diseases physician and a podiatrist see patients with diabetic foot infections together once a week was initiated in January 2017. This study was designed to investigate if the JIDPC can improve patient adherence and reduce recurrent infections.
A retrospective analysis of patients with diabetic foot infection admitted to Wheeling Hospital from March 2013 to December 2018 was performed. Initially, the patients were followed by infectious diseases and podiatry in their clinics separately (preintervention group). Beginning January 2017, they were followed together at the JIDPC (postintervention group). Recurrent infection, mortality, and loss to follow-up were compared using logistic regression models.
Surgeries were performed in 52.5% of preintervention group participants (n = 99) and 81.9% of postintervention group participants (n = 55; P < .001). The preintervention group was more likely to be lost to follow-up (30.3% vs 9.1%; odds ratio [OR], 4.35 [confidence interval (CI), 1.58–11.99]), but the association was attenuated with further adjustment for surgery (OR 3.35 [CI, 1.17–9.62]). The risk of infection recurrence in 6 months was significantly higher in the preintervention group (36.1% vs 20.8%; OR, 2.16 [CI, 0.99–4.71]), but with further adjustment for surgery, this was not significant (P = .067; OR, 2.17 [CI, 0.95–4.94]). Mortality and 90-day readmission were not significantly different.
Implementation of JIDPCs may decrease the incidence of recurrent infections among patients with diabetic foot infections.