Overcoming Common O&P Practice Challenges
In our previous blog, we discussed how O&P practices can attract more patients. This is a critical component of any successful business, as your patients are your customers. However, before you can begin attracting new clientele, it’s important to address any issues that your practice may be facing.
With this in mind, let’s dive right into the most common Orthotics and Prosthetics practice challenges and how you can begin to resolve them.
Limited Access for Patients
One of the biggest challenges that O&P practices face is failing to make their services accessible to patients. Regarding accessibility, this applies in a few ways. First and foremost, a significant factor in access to prostheses is price. Many prosthetic hands, and bionic hands, in particular, are out of the average patient’s price range. While these devices are built with advanced technology, what good do they serve if the patients who need and want a bionic hand are unable to access them?
As a prosthetist, pricing bionic hands is out of your control, but there is still something you can do to improve accessibility for your patients. By offering an affordable bionic hand, patients of all backgrounds can get the bionic hand they want and need.
If you’ve yet to find such a hand, the search is over. Zeus is a high-functioning, multi-articulating bionic hand designed with user accessibility and affordability in mind. Designed via 3D printing, Zeus consists of affordable yet high-quality materials to ensure that all patients can afford it.
Plus, with PDAC approval, Zeus can be covered under Medicare, furthering its stance as the bionic hand for all. By offering an affordable hand such as Zeus, your practice can improve patient access to prostheses.
Secondary to price is geographic proximity. Many patients don’t live near an experienced prosthetist or one that meets all of their needs. Consequently, patients are left with fewer options to choose from in their prostheses. Even if patients were able to get the prosthetic hand of their choice, geographic proximity might limit their ability to get repairs and make adjustments to their hand.
Should this be the case, patients will experience a lack of continuity in care simply because they can’t access the regular care and maintenance they need. Fortunately, Zeus also addresses this issue. With local repairability, Zeus users can ensure that repairs to their bionic hand are always within reach.
Lengthy Repair Times
Speaking of repairs, this is another significant issue faced by O&P practices. Often with prostheses, repairs can take days, if not weeks or even months. During this time, patients are left without their hand - and using either a loaner or no hand at all. This is highly frustrating for patients as they are left unable to do certain activities, as well as frustrating for prosthetists as they have to manage loaners, shipping times, and often last minute appointments.
Just as Zeus improves accessibility through its local repairability, it also addresses the length of a typical repair process. With local repairability, repairs can be made to Zeus within one hour - not days. This means that patients never have to go without their hand.
Additionally, the Zeus is designed with remote configuration. Users can make minor adjustments, such as grip positions from any location. Using Zeus’ web-based software, adjustments can be made on the go, ensuring that Zeus can support users through any activity or movement - at any time.
Consequences of Ill-Fit
Another common challenge is ensuring long-lasting comfort and fit for prosthesis users. Residual limbs can often change in size or swell based on weather conditions, muscle atrophy, and activity levels. When this occurs, prosthetic sockets can become uncomfortable for users if they still fit at all. If patients experience pain with their prostheses, they’ll soon cease to wear it.
Unfortunately, some discomfort is inevitable as residual limbs fluctuate. But, to alleviate this challenge from patients, prosthetists should work with their patients to discuss adjustable sockets and practices for maintaining their optimal socket fit.
Talking with your patients about their comfort and how to alleviate any discomfort is crucial. In doing so, you can ensure that patients are happy with their prostheses and continue working with your practice.
Low Patient Satisfaction
Even beyond comfort, creating an open communication channel with your patients is crucial for improving patient satisfaction. If a prosthetist fails to have a clear discussion with their patients about goals and needs, it’s likely that their patients won’t be happy with the prosthetic hand they end up with. Consequently, patients may get home with their new hand and realize it doesn’t help them do all of the things they want it to.
If a patient is very active and wants a prosthetic hand that reflects their lifestyle, a passive prosthetic probably won’t cut it. Even if they are fitted with a bionic hand, unless it is a hand specified to their needs, it may leave them unsatisfied. For this reason, prosthetists need to clearly discuss with patients the level of dexterity, flexibility, and durability they wish to see in their prosthetic hand.
For most patients, these qualities are critical and need to be reflected in their bionic hand. At Aether Biomedical, we recognize this, which is why Zeus is built with highly durable and flexible fingers. With 12 selectable grip patterns, users can ensure that Zeus will accommodate them in every task.
Plus, Zeus’ unprecedented strength ensures that no task is too big and users will never falter when lifting heavy objects. This, combined with its Soft Grip feature, allows Zeus to seamlessly transition between a sturdy grip and a delicate touch.
With Zeus, prosthetists can rest assured that their patients’ every need is fulfilled. The more satisfied that users are with their bionic hand, the more satisfied they will be with your practice.
In addressing these common challenges, every O&P practice can ensure that their patients are cared for and prepared to face the world with their new prosthesis. As a result, each clinic will be able to help patients worldwide while standing as a thriving practice.
If you’re interested in offering Zeus to your patients, contact one of our team members today.