Editor's Note - May 2020

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By Andrea Spridgen

In the past few months, nearly everyone has been adjusting to the changing landscape of our everyday lives as we traverse the territory of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. O&P has adapted its methods to continue providing services. At the same time, trends within O&P that began before our worlds were transformed by social distancing and stay-at-home orders are also impacting the profession. As such, in this issue we explore the possible effects on the US clinical care market when manufacturers invest in O&P facilities and the challenges and opportunities for working together in a remote work environment.

In "The Changing Landscape: Manufacturers Enter the US Clinical Care Market," The O&P EDGE looks at a business model that is not unusual in other countries but has not been the norm in the US O&P market. The article raises questions about whether the development presents positive opportunities for the industry or will prove a hinderance to growth and innovation. As an independent publication, we strive to present a balanced reporting of any subject we cover. I want to assure readers that we reached out to a wide variety of potential sources, but a number of individuals who anecdotally have shared a skepticism of this trend declined to comment for the article. In a companion piece to this article, we also talked to several manufacturers about their experiences with operating in foreign clinical markets throughout the years for an international perspective.

As clinics have adapted to safety protocols to protect patients and practitioners during the global pandemic, many have adopted staggered schedules for practitioners, telehealth follow-up visits, and remote working for administrative duties. "Working Remotely" examines insight other professions have garnered about alternative strategies of working together without physical proximity and how that can help O&P professionals navigate this territory.

Everyone here at The O&P EDGE thanks you all for your loyal readership. We are here for you in this difficult time, as I believe the entire profession is here for each other and will get through the crisis together. Stay well.