Beyond the Day-to-Day
November 2014 Issue
While I spend a great deal of time reading about practitioners'
experiences and do my best to understand the
day-to-day challenges you face, I have to admit that I
have not walked the proverbial mile in your shoes. So
I can only speculate that perhaps your workdays may
have something in common with mine in that sometimes
I become so busy with completing daily tasks
and meeting looming deadlines that it's difficult to look up from my desk,
take a breath, and analyze the whole picture beyond the particular article
or spreadsheet in front of me. In my case, that big picture involves shaping
the magazine's editorial content, addressing your needs as our readers,
and keeping track of trends in the O&P profession. So I imagine, for you,
with increased documentation requirements, lowered reimburse-
ments, and pressure to see more patients and be more efficient to stay afloat, it may seem difficult enough some days just to ensure that you are meeting your patients' needs. For this issue, we thought about what may be on your mind if you have the chance to step back and examine one aspect of the larger picture: the patient experience and a few ways you may be able to improve or expand upon it.
Our cover story, "Helping Patients Optimize Sports Performance and Avoid Injury through Fitness Training" takes a look at how you can improve the patient experience by helping guide your more active patients through the maze of information on fitness and training so they can improve their performance and participate safely in sports activities. While some tips are specific to optimizing performance, you may also find inspiration for your less competitive patients in some of the innovative fitness programs introduced in the article.
Cara Negri, BSME, CP, takes us into the clinic with her article, "Using Video to Improve the Patient Experience." She outlines benefits to be gained by using video equipment, which many practitioners already have at their disposal on their smartphones and tablets, for a variety of patient applications. Negri argues that video recordings provide a simple, cost-effective way to engage your patients in their own treatment by allowing them to review their progress and assisting them in addressing specific corrections in gait training, for example. Finally, a literature review by Phil Stevens, MEd, CPO, FAAOP, "Back to Work," provides information that may help your prosthetics patients who are discouraged by the misconception that people with amputations cannot return to work.
While these articles only provide examples of creative ways to enhance the patient experience, I hope they will encourage you to look up, take a breath, and think about your own views on the subject. If you want to share your experiences, write to me at