Every year one of our issues of the magazine focuses on the business side of O&P—after all, the important clinical care can’t happen if the business doesn’t thrive. This year, we investigate areas that can have a significant impact on a business but may not be as obvious as what we usually think of in terms of operating a practice, things such as reimbursement tips or managing accounts receivable. Instead, we look at how using professional consultants, workplace culture, and patients’ perception of clinicians’ professionalism through their attire can affect a clinic’s financial footing.
Company culture is an intangible part of any business but can definitely impact its success. As the O&P field faces challenges in employee retention and burnout, building a positive company culture can go a long way in alleviating these pressures. In “Today’s O&P Workforce: Meeting Needs and Challenges Through Better Workplace Culture,” O&P professionals share their tips to create a company culture in which employees can thrive—a result that business experts agree has a direct effect on the bottom line.
Another feature topic is the key role consultants play in O&P businesses and the symbiotic relationship between a consultant and his or her client. “O&P Consulting: Value on Both Sides” discusses the benefits of O&P consulting in the areas of human resources, business operations, specialty clinical care, product launches, and expert witness testimony.
A focus on business topics for any occupation would have to include the concept of professionalism. Much of the trust we have in those who deliver our healthcare, especially, is driven by our perceptions of their professionalism, which includes their appearance. “What to Wear: Clinical Attire in O&P” provides a historical perspective of the evolution of healthcare providers’ apparel as well as research about how it impacts patients’ views of clinician competency and expertise, including differences in perception based on attire by gender. While clinicians’ choice of dress is not of foremost importance, and their preferences from formal business wear to scrubs vary widely, it is nevertheless an aspect worth intentional consideration.