Great work from our Canadian SALSAmigos showing how a novel HotFootLine can be effective in triage and limb preservation.
This manuscript describes the implementation and initial evaluation of a novel Canadian acute care pathway for people with a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU). A multidisciplinary team developed and implemented an acute care pathway for patients with a DFU who presented to the emergency department (ED) and required hospitalisation at a tertiary care hospital in Canada. Processes of care, length of stay (LOS), and hospitalisation costs were considered through retrospective cohort study of all DFU hospitalizations from pathway launch in December 2018 to December 2020. There were 82 DFU-related hospital admissions through the ED of which 55 required invasive intervention: 28 (34.1%) minor amputations, 16 (19.5%) abscess drainage and debridement, 6 (7.3%) lower extremity revascularisations, 5 (6.1%) major amputations. Mean hospital LOS was 8.8 ± 4.9 days. Mean hospitalisation cost was $20 569 (±14 143): $25 901 (±15 965) when surgical intervention was required and $9279 (±7106) when it was not. LOS and hospitalisation costs compared favourably to historical data. An acute care DFU pathway can support the efficient evaluation and management of patients hospitalised with a DFU. A dedicated multidisciplinary DFU care team is a valuable resource for hospitals in Canada.