Do What You Know You Should…

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Lose weight, save money, get organized, quit smoking, get in touch with old friends... New Year's resolutions sure are predictable! Still, it sometimes takes the ritualistic declaration of the commitment to get us started on the right track.

It might be easy enough to identify what we need to "fix" about ourselves as the New Year rolls around, but can we look at our businesses with the same glaring honesty?

In this issue we offer much food for thought on the subject. First, Miki Fairley looks at warning signs for companies in crisis and how to "Avoid the Corporate Death Spiral," while Bill Wilcox, RTP, examines strategies for moving your O&P business forward , including implementing lean manufacturing.

Also this month, Judith Philipps Otto studies the reasons behind the apparent lack of industry statistical information . How can we examine the state of our business when basic comparison facts and figures about the other people and businesses practicing orthotics and prosthetics in the US are unavailable?

We round out the issue with a look at ethics. Knowledge of proper ethical practice, and putting that knowledge to use, enables a provider to deliver the best patient care possible and also acts as a preventative for fines and lawsuits.

It is all a little introspective, but at the core it is like most things our mother taught us as children that we still know are right. Eating vegetables and brushing teeth are just part of the care and feeding of our bodies. Our businesses require the same diligent care and feeding.

2007 will bring a few changes for The O&P EDGE.

I am stepping down as editor of the publication effective with this issue. Some of you know that I have had a difficult year, both with my health and with some family issues. At the same time, I have been presented with a new business opportunity that will allow me to work from home and change my work structure to better fit current life needs of myself and my family.

It is very difficult for me to leave this industry as I have grown to care about it quite a lot in the time that I have been here. I am happy to say that I will continue to write articles for The O&P EDGE into 2007, so I hope to stay in touch with many of you.

The capable and committed EDGE staff of Tonja Randolph, Meredy DeBorde, Miki Fairley, Marti Randolph, Maureen Masucci, and Jodi Mills, along with the newest team member, Karen Henry, look forward to working with you into the New Year. We have planned several exciting editorial and design enhancements for the publication for 2007, some of which you will notice in this issue.

I have enjoyed working with each of you, and I do hope that we can stay in contact! You can reach me at tinaeichner@comcast.net