In the June 2019 issue of Podiatry Management, our own Louis J. DeCaro, DPM participated in the PM ROUNDTABLE discussing the latest trends in Pediatrics and Podiatric Medicine.
According to Marc Haspel, DPM, “The practice of pediatrics within the specialty of podiatric medicine could be one of the best-kept secrets of the profession. Simply by offering a wide range of services to the youngest in the population, a podiatric practice could benefit in untold ways. Once a podiatric physician gains the confidence of those seeking care for their children, the rest of the family will very often trust its care with that same doctor. Savvy practitioners also recognize that the opposite is true. Often presenting pedal structural complaints of adults can also be identified in their children, giving podiatric physicians an opportunity to treat many more patients. The result could be an exponential growth in the podiatric practice.”
Read the entire article HERE Check out other articles by Dr. DeCaro on our Archives Page
Get your patient’s feet ready for summer sun and fun, offer them a foot screening and let them know you have the solutions to their foot problems and pain! DOWNLOAD the FREE WAITING ROOM POSTER and get your patients asking about littleSTEPS® and QUADRASTEPS ® ! Even better, pair it with our waiting room videos to get them to ask you about their foot type.
Pediatrics is one of podiatric medicine’s best kept secrets. From afar, observers could easily assume that tpodiatric medicine and surgery involves purely adult and geriatric care. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, the treatment of children and children’s foot problems should be a vital part of common podiatric practice. Besides the direct benefit to those children impacted by foot problems, from a practice standpoint, podopediatrics can be a valuable source of sustaining referrals in that once the care of children is entrusted to a podiatric physician, the care of other family members will most likely soon follow.
6 Reasons to Treat Kids in Your Practice:
Genetics: Kids inherit their foot types
Kids don’t always outgrow flat feet
Preventing the long-term effects of aging on a neglected pronated foot
Opportunity to grow your practice
Kids are not just mini adults: They are more susceptible to injury
Increased Emphasis On Sports = Increased Incidents of Injury
Benefits of a PodoPediatric Screening Clinic
Benefit 1: Efficiency and Marketing At The Same Time A Children’s Clinic opens the door to treat many potential pediatric orthotic candidates in a single day. Allows you ability to efficiently screen entire families.
Benefit 2: Build Referrals Through Education The Children’s Clinic offers opportunity to educate referring General Practitioners and Pediatricians on the benefits of early intervention. Perform community talks to educate parents, coaches and kids on why feet are important.
Benefit 3: Get Your Staff Involved The Children’s Clinic gets the whole staff involved, particularly the Podiatry Assistants who can effectively manage 90% of the program.
Benefit 4: Affordable Options Neglect in managing kid’s foot conditions is often due to prohibitive costs. Not all kids need custom devices. Prefabricated kids foot orthotics and/or bracing often offer affordable, yet effective, treatment solutions.
Implementing a PodoPediatric Screening Clinic
Step 1: Pre-planning
Meet With Your Entire Staff Ahead Of Time And Plan Well In Advance. Allow At Least 4-6 Weeks For Proper Promotion.
Include Late Appointment Hours After 5pm For Working Parents, Or Consider A Saturday.
Be Sure Ample Staffing Is Available To Call On If Needed.
Have Enough Prefabs In Various Sizes In Stock To Dispense During The Clinic (orthotics, braces and splints).
Set Up A Registration Process For Call In Appointments Or Register On-line.
Try And Make Appointments, But Accept Walk-ins
Step 2: Advertising & Notification
Notify the public of the event. TELL EVERYONE! Don’t assume just because you are running a clinic, parents will find out on their own and show up!
Emphasize “FREE” foot exam for kids. Keep notifications brief.
News paper or radio ads can be very effective and affordable.
Don’t forget to post the clinic on your website! Set up a registration page.
Step 3: Get Ancillary Care Providers Involved
Early Intervention Therapists
Pediatric Shoe Stores
Step 4: Educate Staff on their Roles
Creating a Kid Friendly Environment
Preparing Announcements & Notifications
Talking up the Clinic to Existing Patients
Handout Flyers at Checkout
Managing Prefab Inventory
Processing Custom Orders
Posting Flyers Around Town
Assisting in Website Updates
Teach Them to Foot Type (PA Webinar)
Keep Adequate Supply of Patient Literature On Hand
Fax Blast Referring Providers
Send Out Post Card Announcements to Patients and Their Families
Keep Kids Occupied While You Are Discussing RX Options With Parents
Step 5: On Clinic Day
Introduce yourself to both the parents and the child.
Ask what concerns the child and the parents have, and what brought them to the clinic
Ask if the child has had any previous treatment
Inquire about family history for foot related conditions or symptoms and LLD’s
Briefly explain the purpose of the foot screening (Is the child’s foot structure and gait within normal parameters for their age)
Look at them standing barefoot, check heel valgus alignment and arch height
Allow the child to move around, engage in normal activities and play and notice their balance, ability to maneuver / coordination, etc
Watch and analyze gait
Determine their functional foot type if child is a teen
Step 6: Decide on Treatment Options
Bracing for Structural Deformities
Custom Foot Orthotics For More Pathological or Extreme Cases
Prefabricated Foot Orthotics to Promote Proper Posture, Injury Prevention, or Less severe Symptomatic Cases
Outside Referrals for Treatment
Strengthening – Core and Limbs
Coordination & Agility
Proper Shoe Wear
Step 7: Follow Up
Be sure to contact each parent attendee within a week following clinic, by phone or email.
Get opinions to help improve the next clinic…. would they attend again, what day/time of day would have been better, etc.?
Start building parent database for the future. You may want to schedule a Children’s Clinic on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and if you save contact information on an ongoing basis, your email and mailing database will become an effective promotional tool.
Remember, children who start using orthotics early will return for next sizes several times, and will eventually become part of your adult patient base.
So if you have not been treating kids….WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?