Gill Newhouse Podiatry is a large HCPC registered Podiatry Practice; with clinics at Knott End and Garstang in Lancashire and a domiciliary care service.
The practice employs two fully qualified podiatrists, a podiatry assistant and administrative/clerical support. In addition, they regularly support student podiatrists seeking work placements by offering them placement experience in one or both of their clinics.
The practice provides a full range of podiatry treatments, including: routine podiatry care, nail cutting, diabetic foot care, dressings, verrucae treatments, biomechanical assessments – muscular skeletal assessments and gait analysis, nail surgery, and minor surgery. The technical equipment used to treat patients is up-to-date and includes laser therapy, ultrasound, cryotherapy and PODOSmart.
PodoSmart picks up nuances that are not possible to see using the naked eye, it provides graphics that clearly illustrate the problem areas in gait and stance to both the clinical practitioner and to the patient.
Prior to introducing PodoSmart into our Practice, clinical diagnosis for Biomechanical Assessment was based on my professional training and 20 years’ experience of physical examination in neutral stance and gait.
Following research into the PodoSmart system and what it has to offer, I felt that the new technology would enhance clinical examination by adding value and parameters to make for a more accurate diagnosis. The up-to-date technology does not replace my original working practice but is in addition to my assessments and is used to validate my findings.
The PodoSmart picks up nuances that are not possible to see using the naked eye, it provides graphics that clearly illustrate the problem areas in gait and stance to both the clinical practitioner and to the patient.
Most importantly, the PodoSmart provides a more detailed and accurate analysis that allows for a more precise prescription to be sent to the manufacturer. Thus ultimately leading to the manufacture of a more appropriate, bespoke orthotic.
A full biomechanical assessment takes in the region of one hour to complete. However, only 10 minutes of this is using the PODOSmart.
Although not strictly necessary to purchase additional hardware, for convenience and to provide a seamless provision for our patients, we purchased an additional laptop, invested in a scanner and an ipad and set up a dedicated room for Biomechanical Assessments.
We charge £150 per Biomechanical Assessment. This price includes the assessment, fitting of orthotics appointment and review appointment. This price does not include the cost of any orthotics. Patients have accepted this charging rate and see it as good value for their money. Prior to incorporating PODOSmart into our assessment process, we charged £90. Introducing PODOSmart has allowed us to increase our fee for Biomechanical Assessment from £90 to £150.
By allowing us to increase our fee for Biomechanical Assessment, the PODOSmart system has paid for itself within 17 patients. Despite this increase in treatment charge we have also seen an 83% increase in the number of Biomechanical assessments booked in September & October 2019 in comparison to the same period in 2018. Although we run two busy Podiatry clinics, we made a decision to only offer Biomechanical Assessments at our larger clinic at Knott End. This was in order to have a dedicated room/setup for Biomechanics. This does mean that patients do not have a choice of venue for the actual assessment. However, we have not found that this has had any negative impact. Indeed since purchasing the PODOSmart, the number of patients opting for an assessment has increased quite significantly.
The feedback so far received from patients has been positive. Patients like to see their results on the screen. In addition, the illustrations make it easier to explain to the results of the Biomechancial Assessment to the patient.
Ensure you are fully conversant with the software prior to offering the service to patients. Have a dedicated area, with enough space for the patient to walk around. Note that the patient is required to walk for over a minute without making any sharp turns. Ensure that you are fully knowledgeable about the outcomes produced and can interpret and explain these to patients.