Technology in Practice

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By Paul E. Prusakowski, CPO, FAAOP

Imagine that you could search through all of your O&P bookshelves in seconds to find a bit of information that could help you solve a problem right now.  Wouldn't that be amazing?

The information that you need to manage a challenging case or provide better documentation to help justify a treatment option may be out there, but it doesn't do you any good if you can't find it. Putting the power of humanity's collective knowledge about orthotics and prosthetics at your fingertips is one of the goals of the Digital Resource Foundation's Virtual Library Project, which is available at www.oandplibrary.org.

If you haven't used this resource in practice, there is nothing holding you back. At present, there are 59 years of O&P specific journals (JPO, JACPOC, and Artificial Limbs) and the complete Second Edition of the Atlas of Limb Prosthetics digitized and available.  Thanks to the generous contributions of a growing number of practitioners, this project is gaining momentum, preserving our clinical history and connecting us to an incredible wealth of knowledge that still has practical clinical and research value.

Once you are familiar with the resource, you can begin using it in practice by performing keyword searches when you need information for a challenging case, and by referencing the literature in your clinical documentation.  As our profession continues to publish more substantial articles that measure clinical outcomes, this resource will become even more of an asset, helping us find documented literature to support and enhance our patient care.

The O&P Virtual Library is a long-term project, and it is my hope that the global O&P community will continue to both use and support this resource long into the future. If you own the rights to any clinical publications in O&P that you would like to have digitally preserved in the O&P Library, please let us know.  Your financial contributions also go a very long way in helping to move this project along. You can find out more at www.oandplibrary.org.