Editorial Note

How to Make the Most of This Issue

I love making lists. I write grocery-shopping lists, weekend to-do lists, more-stuff-I-need-from-Target lists, and I love every minute of it.

Laurie Watanabe

All I ask is list of tasks and a laptop to keep track of her by.

Even more than creating lists, I love crossing items off my lists. I thrill to the sense of accomplishment, and I find that I achieve more when I organize my thoughts and figure out exactly what it is I want to do and what I need to do to get there. That’s why I find myself drawn not only to my self-created lists, but also to lists I find online or in magazines, stories that promise I can organize my garage in an afternoon or make authentic seafood gumbo or save money by consolidating my phone and Internet service.

This issue, our Complex Rehab How-To Handbook is a twist on this basic idea. In our special feature section, you’ll find stories such as How to Plan Growability in Pediatric Seating & Mobility, When to Pressure Map, and How to Choose the Right Cushion Medium. Because accessibility is such a big concern to complex rehab clients, we’ve also included How to Assess for Adaptive Automotive Needs and How to Make Entryways More Accessible.

And we’re just getting started.

In recognition of the impact that their policies and decisions have on your everyday operations and your ability to continue to provide high-quality care and service to your clients, we have stories on How to Decipher the Elimination of the First-Month Power Chair Purchase Option (by Invacare Corp.’s Jim Stephenson) and How to Host a Legislator in Your Offices.

As a bonus, our Funding Essentials column this month tackles how to determine the impact of recent healthcare legislation (by Pride Mobility Products Corp.’s Seth Johnson), and our monthly technology Marketplace focuses this time on complex rehab.

Turn to page 10 to see the full line-up of How-To-themed stories.

A disclaimer before you start reading: We are not implying that, for instance, the process of selecting performance options for an ultralightweight chair can be neatly and completely distilled to one page of information. But we do hope that this Handbook gives you and your staff a place to get started. We also hope that it provides a checklist of factors, technologies or issues to consider during the process. And to help even further, we’ve included additional resources at the end of the stories, should you decide to continue your investigation on these topics.

We also hope that the pages in this Handbook find their way past your desk and into the hands of other members of the seating & mobility assessment team and your referral sources. Some of this information would also be great for consumers themselves to have — not so they can self diagnose, self evaluate or make technology decisions without you, but so that they can start to grasp the complexity of the work that you do.

Maybe funding sources can start to more deeply understand that in complex rehab, there is no such thing as pulling a perfect-fit solution off a shelf and out of a box. Different clients and medical conditions call for different variations of different technologies, along with clinician and provider creativity, customization and expertise — and that’s the underlying theme of this Handbook.

By the way, we tried to choose topics to cover the major complex rehab niches, but obviously, the complete list of possibilities is far longer. So if you have a “how-to” or “when to” topic you’d like us to cover in the future, let me know. My e-mail address is printed below, and I love getting letters…in fact, even more than I love making lists.

This article originally appeared in the July 2010 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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