LEIPZIG, Germany — Bengt Soderberg, CPO, managing director, Scandinavian Orthopaedic Laboratory, discussed how expectations from all members of the O&P spectrum — from user to third party payer — contribute to the complexities of a lower extremity device fitting. Soderberg discussed how these mostly unspoken expectations are impossible to entirely meet. Still, knowing what the many players in the process expect can make for a better user experience.
In a survey, Soderberg asked 394 O&P patients what their expectations were of the O&P facility; 336 completed the survey. Soderberg was surprised by the simplicity of some of the patients’ responses.
“We found that the patients wanted good opening hours, not just between 8 am and 4 pm,” Soderberg said here at the ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK 2012 International Trade Show and World Congress. “A lot of people work and they wanted evening hours too. They wanted a system that would make it easy to contact the CPO and they wanted a professional and friendly welcome. That seems like a natural thing.”
When asked about their expectations of the prosthetist, the patients who answered the survey expected their prosthetist to be clear with them. The patients also expected their prosthetist to take the time to explain any problems and the possible solutions to those problems.
“As prosthetists, we need to ask if we meet all of these criteria,” Soderberg said. “If we don’t, then we need to put that into place.”
Expectations are not limited to the user. Payers have expectations for the prosthetist as well. Payers expect practitioners to use objective measurement data and patient reported outcome measurements.
“The payer wants evidence based practice because they will not pay for a product if they do not know what they are paying for,” he said. “If we can show objectively what is happening when the patient walks, then it is much easier to provide that information to the payer.”
Soderberg B. Expectations on lower limb prosthetics. Presented at the ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK 2012 International Trade Show and World Congress. May 15-18. Leipzig, Germany.