Provider’s Perspective: Pressure Mapping & Custom Molded Seating

Q&A with Toby Bergantino, ATG/Connecticut Rehab

Q: Briefly describe your experience with these technologies: How long have you been using each, and how frequently do you use each?

Toby Bergantino: I have been using the mapping system with one of the clinics I work with for approximately eight years. They own the system, and it is used with me about once a week — I work the clinic one day per week. We use it as a tool for training about pressure relief and to see if we have pressure points that we might not be aware of when deciding on a cushion.
Molding technology provides an opportunity to seat individuals with all body shapes. The manufacturer and type of molding process (you choose determines) the body shape you will be able to support. I have used various types of molding systems — foam in place, digitized, shape-sensing, plaster casting and simple foam carving — for over 20 years. Each system has its
place (depending on) body shape.

Q: Under what circumstances do you use pressure mapping and/or molded seating technologies? Do you tend to use either/both for clients who have certain diagnoses or other traits in common?
TB: We use pressure mapping to assist with the decision for the correct cushion and to show the client about pressure relief. Diagnosis doesn’t matter. Molding technology is used when off-the-shelf products or planar seating will not work. Then we have to decide which mold system will provide the best mold for the body we are working with.

Q: What advice would you have for a rehab supplier who wants to give either/both of these systems a try? What should they
know about the learning curve, ease of use, funding source or clinician comfort levels with the technology, etc.?
TB: Regarding mapping, it’s a great tool. It takes time and that tends not to be reimbursable to RTS’s. It can be reimbursed through most therapy evals. Every clinic should have the technology available. Until insurance companies start paying for RTS service, it’s impossible to justify on the dealer level.
If an RTS is working with the severely involved population, it would be a must to have molding technology as a option. It certainly gives the best total body contact of any seating, therefore reducing chances of pressure sores.

— Toby Bergantino is an ATS/CRTS at ATG/Connecticut Rehab in Newington, Conn.

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