Just in Time for the Annual Meeting: Academy Session Sneak Peeks

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If You Don't Know Your Numbers, You Don't Know Your Business!

Rob Benedetti

Rob Benedetti, who has 20 years of experience in the O&P business and 15 years as a consultant to O&P practices, will discuss how O&P practice owners can maintain profitable businesses by knowing and understanding financial data. Benedetti will talk about the top five pitfalls that an O&P practice could encounter. They include inadequate planning, poor record keeping, lack of entrepreneurial focus, improper cash management, and weak leadership. Many businesses suffer from undisciplined adherence to these areas, which can result in debt. Benedetti will discuss how O&P practice owners can become more effective leaders and learn how to manage an O&P patient care facility as a thriving business.

The session will also cover how business owners can stimulate growth, including specific product lines and services a business can provide to bolster revenue. Attendees will learn how to control costs, analyze expenditures, and what types of practices they can undertake in their own businesses. Benedetti will discuss financial benchmarks against which attendees can track their own businesses. Those who are interested in starting their own business or who are current O&P business owners will learn how to implement better financial strategies in their own practices.

Outcome Measures: Learn How to Administer, Interpret, and Incorporate Results into Your Clinical Practice

Bob Gailey, PhD, PT; Nikki Hooks, CO; Jim Wynne, CPO, FAAOP; and Chris Robinson, MBA, CPO, FAAOP

This session will provide attendees with practical outcome measures that can be easily implemented in clinics, do not require additional equipment, and are cost effective. These clinical outcome measures can be accomplished within a normal evaluation and, as such, should not be difficult to incorporate into daily practice. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test will be covered for orthotics patients, and the Amputee Mobility Predictor, with and without a prosthesis (AMPPRO and AMPnoPRO), for prosthetics patients. The session will help practitioners implement more clinical outcome measures in their daily routine, which will ultimately allow them to justify interventions to third-party payers. These clinical outcome measures will provide objective ways to document that the devices being provided effect change in patients' lives.

An orthotist who uses the TUG Test at her clinic will demonstrate the measure, how the findings are incorporated into her clinical notes, and how the data can be used to form clinical aggregate data as well as provide documentation for referral sources. Clinical outcome measures can help to quantify observed results that are already being evaluated during patient visits. By incorporating these measures into their practices, practitioners will be better able to communicate patient information with their colleagues, thus facilitating improved patient care. The AMPPRO and AMPnoPRO will be profiled to demonstrate how these measures can be easily incorporated into an evaluation session.

From Stable Standing to "Rock 'n' Roll" Walking

Elaine Owen, MSc; Andrew Hansen, PhD; and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO (Hons)

This session will provide an overview of the four rockers of gait as applied to both orthotics and prosthetics patients. Research will demonstrate connections between gait kinematics, gait rockers, orthotic and prosthetic alignment, and rollover shapes. The rockers of gait occur at the heel, ankle, forefoot (metatarsophalangeal joints), and metatarsophalangeal joints coupled with the ankle, in that order. Presenters will discuss how understanding the relationships between these rockers and segment kinematics at different points of the gait cycle can help clinicians improve overall rollover shape. In this way, an optimal gait pattern for each client can be developed by changing the shape of the shoe, heel height, and the relationship between the different segments of the lower limb. By understanding the rockers of walking, clinicians can improve their patients' ambulation with O&P devices.

February's session previews written by Nina Bondre.