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AAWP Newsletter Winter 2016
I have been a part of this organization for almost 6 years. I recall when Dr. Erika Schwartz, encouraged me to get involved. She has a knack for giving a gentle nudge to someone when she knows it is important for their growth and development. Erika tried to get me to join for many years but it was not until I encountered some discrimination as a female while working at one of my previous employers that I felt the need to do so. That was the time, I thought it was important to get involved with an organization that can lift me up, as well as others like me, a podiatrist and a women. AAWP has given me that safe place to express my thoughts and validate what I have experienced.
I have known Erika since my first day in podiatry school. It seems wherever she goes I seem to follow from podiatry school, residency, private practice, a member of AAWP and now president of AAWP. Every step of the way, her encouragement has led me in the right direction. She was most recently the main driving force in passing the modification of the 5.4 status in the APMA bylaws. This change makes it more explicit that those who are working part-time and experiencing financial hardship should be considered for 5.4 status and receive partial or full waiver of APMA dues. This required her countless hours of work and persistence in getting this accomplished. I want to thank her for dedication to our association as an executive board member for the past 10 years.
My goals as president are to promote the organization through leadership, member media spotlight and mentoring the younger generation of female podiatrists. When we increase our exposure as an organization, the membership will increase. And by increasing our membership, our sponsors will grow and continue to support us which creates more opportunities to our organization. This creates a positive cycle of change. I know a strong executive board and involved members is the only way to achieve this. I am asking you now for your time and support to accomplish these goals for the future of our organization. I appreciate your trust in me to lead AAWP for the next 2 years! Thank you!
Dr. Alison J. Garten
The AAWP is comprised of 170 members. The current assets are:
2016 AAWP Scientific Conference
The AAWP Scientific Conference was held at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples, Florida, October 21-23, 2016. Dr. Jennifer Spector was Conference Chair, and Dr. Erika Schwartz and Dr. Alison Garten were Scientific Chair and Sponsor Chair, respectively. Western University of Health Sciences sponsored the CEUs, which were presented by dynamic lecturers from across the country on a variety of topics. This year's conference experienced record attendance and informative exhibitors along with the scientific program.
A Welcome Reception was held Friday evening, and our annual membership meeting was held during our Presidents' Luncheon, where Past Presidents were acknowledged. A new Executive Board was elected, comprised of:
Dr. Alison Garten, President
Thank you to all those who attended, exhibited or lectured!
Pictured below, first photo: top row from left to right: 1st vice President: Karen Langone, DPM, Scientific Chair: Erika Schwartz, DPM, and Secretary: Heather Rafal, DPM. Bottom row from left to right: 2nd Vice President: Jennifer Spector, DPM, President: Alison Garten, DPM and Immediate Past President: Aparna Duggirala. Not pictured is Treasurer: Elizabeth Daughtry, DPM.
New Member Spotlight
The Executive Board of the AAWP would like to recognize all of those who made a donation to the Scholarship fund. Without their generosity we could not further the scholarship and offer it to new recipients. We would like to thank Annette Joyce, DPM, Marlene Reid, DPM, Yeon Shim, DPM, Aparna Duggirala, DPM, Teresa Burtoft, DPM, Daria McDonough, DPM (in honor of Lubow Pronchick, DPM), Carol Callahan, DPM, Karyn Goldberg, DPM, Gina Painter, DPM (in honor of Grace Albano), Gina Saffo, DPM and Ajitha Nair, DPM.
Sponsorship Spotlight - OHI
Those of us who are parents encourage our children to take Queen Elsa’s (of movie “Frozen” fame) advice to “Let it Go”. And we all see the wisdom of delegating. Nevertheless, as employers, many tend to do just the opposite by holding on to tasks that monopolize our time and limit our efforts. Reasons for this resistance vary from assuming that patients want only the DPM to care for them to truly believing that staff cannot effectively deliver the same level of care to the patient. While the DIY Model sometimes works for renovating homes, it’s time to realize that, in your practice, for any business, the “do it all yourself” mentality actually hampers your efficiency, productivity and profitability.
Delegating to another pair of trained capable hands allows you to effectively minimize your wasted time and optimize your productive time. It is why airline pilots don’t assist in the boarding process and generally stay out of the passenger compartment. It is why the CEO of Ford doesn’t put gas in new cars. And it is why a homebuilder has subcontractors. Could the pilot stow luggage in the overhead? Probably. Could the CEO pump gas? Yes. The builder could surely install kitchen cabinets himself. Yet they all delegate other competent people to take care of those tasks so they can use their particular skill set for the best, most profitable, efficient and successful outcome.
The concept of utilizing trained staff to offset some of your lesser duties is not new. Neither is it rocket science. It does, however, involve time; time to teach; time which (I can hear it now) you’ll claim you just don’t have. I would counter that argument with - are you saying you do have time to run behind, correct mistakes, solve problems, work late, etc.?
The types of tasks assigned to staff vary among practices - many times they even vary WITHIN the (multi-doctor) practice. A number of factors are to blame that fuel confusion of what can and can’t legally be delegated. Among them are professional ethics, state law, interpretation of state law, staff schooling and licensures, doctor’s philosophy of the PMA role, the level of OTJ staff training and competencies for starters. In most instances, doctors draw the line at “invasiveness”1 - defined as, “of or relating to a medical procedure in which a part of the body is entered, as by puncture or incision.”
As a hands-on physician extender, the staff role is much more involved than merely taking patients back into the room, directing them where to sit, closing the door and informing them that the doctor will be in shortly. They can easily be trained for a variety of “non-invasive” tasks for example, educating patients (about policy, protocol, podiatry, doctor’s education, etc.), taking x-rays (with proper certification/license), pre-filling injections, taking initial patient history, orthotic & AFO foot impressions, dispensing orthotics, shoe and DME (brace, boots, etc.) fittings and dispensing, foot/digital pad applications, adhesive strappings, removal of plaster casts, removal and reapplication of post op or wound dressings/bandages, suture removal, note scribing, in-office dispensing sales, scheduling outpatient tests/procedures for patients (MRI, x-rays, labwork, etc.), financial discussions with patients, surgery scheduling, online research for patients, patient instructions, nail finishing (filing/grinding) just to name a few... whew! And let’s not forget, managing the office.
Doctors who develop treatment protocols with staff have a keen understanding that a quick “run-through” of the schedule with them in the AM will help them be more anticipatory of their needs. Rooms and patients are better prepped with corresponding supplies, instruments, products, paperwork, etc. ready to go!
Another simple way staff can be valuable is by being attentive to visible signs of patients’ walking difficulties. which highlight treatment opportunities you are likely missing. As elderly patients, in particular, rise from their reception room chair and walk to the treatment room, staff should take note and report to you any wobbliness; holding on to walls and use of walking aids, etc. They can proceed to conduct a simple TUG Test (Timed Up and Go) to assess patient mobility. These results would then be disclosed to the doctor who can address them with the patient in more detail and suggest proactive measures such as AFO devices or sturdy shoe wear. Recommendations that could reduce their imbalance or other walking issues; maybe prevent a broken hip. Meanwhile, staff can provide necessary paperwork (Falls Risk Assessment, Biomechanical Evaluation, etc.) and assist in documenting findings during the exam. Imbalance is only one of many conditions that doctors tend to overlook because the patient is already in the treatment room chair waiting for their nails to be cut or their calluses trimmed when they enter the room. No time to conduct an extended evaluation? Initiate the conversation, explain the importance to your patient and set a next appointment for exam and casting.
Those who are familiar with OHI’s Central Casting Program, are already taking advantage of having Certified Pedorthists come into the office to manage their shoe program and perform all castings and dispensing. This frees up doctors AND staff from tackling these onerous tasks during a busy patient schedule. Instead, they can stay focused on managing the practice and other patient-care obligations without interruption while the Pedorthist works simultaneously in another room. By appointing one staff member as the valuable “Point Person” of this program, they can coordinate and communicate schedules and paperwork between the DPM, CPed, and Patient. Their role is key to making the program successful and worthwhile.
Understand how valuable staff are to the Practice and realize that it is the patient who truly benefits by a coordination of care. I encourage doctors to consider transforming the DIY mentality and engage help from other qualified professionals that can provide your patients with the quality, comprehensive care they deserve. The outcome is an on-time schedule, increased efficiency, flexibility in your day/week for additional patients, enjoying extra time with your family or more time for yourself to tackle that DIY bathroom or kitchen remodel you’ve been dreaming about.
For more information on the Central Casting Program, please contact Stu Wittner at Stu.Wittner@OHI.net.
Ms. Lynn Homisak, President of SOS Healthcare Management Solutions, carries a Certificate in Human Resource Studies from Cornell University School of Industry and Labor Relations. She is the 2010 recipient of Podiatry Management’s Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the PM Hall of Fame. She serves as a Consultant to OHI's Central Casting Program, an Editorial Advisor for Podiatry Management Magazine and is recognized nationwide as a speaker, writer and expert in staff and human resource management.
American Association for Women Podiatrists, Inc.
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