Improving diabetic foot screening at a primary care clinic : a quality improvement project aimed at health care workers
Abstract Background: Foot screening is an important part of diabetic care as it prevents significant morbidity, loss of function and mortality from diabetic foot complications. However, foot screening is often neglected. This project was aimed at educating health care workers (HCWs) in a primary health care clinic to increase diabetic foot screening practices. Methods: A quality improvement project using a plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycle was used. HCW needs were assessed using a questionnaire; this was followed by a focus group discussion with HCWs, which was recorded, transcribed and assessed using a general inductive approach for common themes. Staff training was done using the Diabetic Foot Assessment Questionnaire. Patient information pamphlets and screening tools were made available to all clinical staff. Thirty-two consecutive diabetic patient folders were audited to compare screening in 2013 to that in the first half of 2014 after initiation of the PDSA cycle. Results: HCW confidence in conducting foot screening using the Diabetic Foot Assessment Questionnaire improved markedly after initial training. Diabetic foot screening practices increased from 9% in 2013 to 69% in 2014 after the first PDSA cycle. A strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results (SOAR) analysis showed promise for continuing quality improvement cycles. Conclusions: The findings showed a significant improvement in the number of diabetic patients who received foot screening. A feedback session was held with the team of HCWs involved in the project to discuss their experience and for future improvement planning. Using strategic planning with appreciative intent based on SOAR, proved to be inspirational and will be used in the planning of the next cycle.