Editor's Note - July 2019

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By Andrea Spridgen

O&P care goes beyond fabrication, fitting, and even usage training of devices. It involves personal, clinical care. That is, after all, one of the things that sets it apart from durable medical equipment suppliers, and a key point that the profession has tried to express to policymakers. Part of clinical care is an awareness of other factors that impact the patient's wellness, such as pain management, and cultivating a positive relationship as a trusted healthcare provider.


"HIPAA Compliance and Marketing in the Social Media Age" provides guidance to providers and practice owners about how to celebrate patients' success stories on social media while respecting the trust they place in the practice to respect privacy, and specifically how to ensure all practice staff are complying with federal privacy regulations.


As I've heard many O&P providers say, providing O&P care is a long-term relationship. To that end, learning how to effectively negotiate all aspects of communication is essential to a healthy working relationship, and understanding the role humor plays is part of it. "Humor in Clinical Encounters—It's Not About Being Funny" examines the nuances of how patients and clinicians alike use humor in building a rapport, approaching uncomfortable topics, and exploring areas of criticism in the clinic.


While pain management is not the specific domain of O&P practitioners, having an awareness of available treatment modalities enhances practitioners' ability to understand patients' needs holistically as members of the healthcare team. "Non-pharmacologic Approaches to Residual Limb and Phantom Limb Pain" gives clinicians an overview of the broad range of solutions for these common challenges for patients with limb loss.


Finally, to embrace a positive relationship with patients, providers must strive to also maintain a sufficient level of self-care. This important topic and its impact on patient care are addressed in "Mindfulness in the Medical Field."


While these aspects of practice are more difficult to measure than provision of a device or a six-minute walk test, they are no less important to overall patient and provider success.


Happy reading.