LAS VEGAS – The total care approach will help solidify the O&P profession’s place in the health care industry, according to Bret Bostock, CO, here.
“I believe we can provide a much better quality of care,” Bostock said. “If we do this, we can improve our outcomes and our profession will advance.”
O&P practitioners often focus on the written prescription, treating patients without examining their overall health, he said. Practitioners can treat the limb, but they also need to ask additional questions that may involve the specific injury or treatment, he said. Under a total care system, practitioners would treat the patient, as well as provide a more detailed understanding of the patient’s overall health and safety.
Bostock received the Sam E. Hamontree Business Education Award for his education paper titled “Total Care” presented at the 2011 American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly.
Practitioners must focus on the entire patient rather than just the amputated limb, according to Bostock. Patients often damage their contralateral limb or suffer from osteoarthritis. He encouraged practitioners to manage the patient and express their expert opinions.
“You guys are experts in the field,” he said. “You have been trained to provide these services. But do you manage and assess the patient or do you just fill the prescription and keep quiet? Those are the questions you have to ask yourself.”
According to Bostock, the practitioner should look beyond the prescription.
“We need to be involved from the start,” Bostock said. “Patients tend to withhold their complaints about pain in areas that do not involve the amputation. They do not know that you can provide a large scope of care for them. One of the things we always ask our patients is, are you in pain?”
He said the expansion of knowledge from the total care approach will increase the overall knowledge of the O&P practitioner, ultimately improving outcomes. Improved outcomes could potentially lead to more business for the O&P practice.
Bostock B. Total care. Presented at the 2011 American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly. Sept. 19-22. Las Vegas.