“Knowledge Speaks…Wisdom Listens”

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By Karen Henry
Karen Henry

When it comes to patient compliance, O&P clinicians know there is a big difference between hearing and listening.

Many healthcare providers can relate to the experience of talking with a patient who seems to be following instructions and guidance, but upon follow up, it becomes clear that something was lost in translation. Likewise, many patients can relate to the frustration of expressing their wants and needs to a healthcare professional and being provided with a solution that meets neither one.

Oftentimes, such missteps happen not because of a lack of interest or agreement on either part, but because of a breakdown in communication. The ability to actively listen is essential to successful communication. This skill comes naturally for many; for others, it is a daily struggle. What if, as an O&P practitioner, you had additional, key insights into the patient experience to help facilitate successful communication and make that all-important patient connection? That is one of the main goals of this issue of The O&P EDGE.

Deanna Fish, MS, CPO, kicks off this issue with a discussion about building successful, lifetime O&P patient-clinician relationships in her article, "Creating the Optimal Patient Experience".

Judith Philipps Otto takes an in-depth look at the physical, emotional, and functional considerations that go into the decision of whether or not to amputate a limb in her article, "Elective Amputation: Making the Decision".

The cornerstone of this issue is the result of an exciting new partnership between The O&P EDGE and the Amputee Coalition. Over the last several months, we have been working with the Amputee Coalition on a survey targeted at patients with amputations to find out about their comfort levels and compliance related to wearing prosthetic devices. We hope that this inaugural, benchmarking survey will help you with your outreach efforts.

Legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) said, "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." I hope that every issue of The O&P EDGE provides you with knowledge that will help to inform your wisdom. Please contact me at and let me know if our survey results are helpful to you. What data would you like to see regarding patient care in future issues?

Thanks for reading.

Karen Henry