The Complex Rehab X-Factor

When it comes to providing complex rehab mobility, what is your (my) advantage over other providers that have the same products and services?  What is the difference between each of us through the client’s perspective? How do referral sources look at my ability to provide the best experience and correct products to enhance the client’s quality of life?

The answers to these questions could be defined as “Rehab-X” factors that client’s, physicians, therapists and referrals will judge us by. In all cases my professional relationships and professional network is only as strong as my ability to manage each account as if each is my only account.  This skill set is something I work on daily because I’m not as gifted in time management as I should be.  If I’m able to maintain a high level of contact with my client’s and all those involved, I will certainly develop one “Rehab-X” factor that will stand on its own merits.

Hopefully it will be these types of qualities that will have referrals and clients seeking me personally and the company I work for with any and all their Complex Rehab mobility and accessibility needs.  With most things being equal from one provider to another, I should be sharpening my ATP knowledge every day.  I can do my part in several areas.  Each area should present itself as “Rehab-X” factors that clients will gravitate towards.  Here is my “Top 3” list of what I think “Rehab-X” factors are from the provider’s perspective.

  1. Be a “15 minutes” before you need to be there,  ATP

I know that this alone is next to impossible when you never know what each appointment or evaluation will bring.  It’s one thing to be scheduled with enough time between each appointment for the day given allotments for traffic and weather conditions.  However, if you can do this efficiently it speaks volumes that you care about your clients and families.  As always, if you’re running late, CALL and inform everyone that needs to know.

  1. Have everything you will need to provide a complete evaluation with your first visit.

Know what mobility equipment you’re going to be accessing for along with the past history of what equipment the client may already have or did have in the past.  Most diagnoses will give you a clue as to what equipment will most likely be evaluated.  Return visits do happen if you need to confirm any changes with a client if the process for Insurance authorization takes longer than expected or physical changes that were not anticipated at first.

  1. Present yourself in the upmost professional character, honesty and clarity

As a Resna certified ATP, I represent a small segment of the Complex Rehab Industry.  In the state of Texas there are just over 280 certified ATP’s. The registered 2010 state of Texas population was 25,145,561, In Houston alone 2,099,451 persons made the census.

Nationwide here are some stats regarding Spinal Cord injuries. A percentage of these numbers can be translated into actual clients that I will have opportunity to work with.

Number of New SPI Injuries per Year
32 injuries per million population or 7800 injuries in the US each year.

Most researchers feel that these numbers represent significant under-reporting. Injuries not recorded include cases where the patient dies instantaneously or soon after the injury, cases with little or no remaining neurological deficit, and people who have neurologic problems secondary to trauma, but are not classified as SCI. Researchers estimate that an additional 20 cases per million (4860 per year) die before reaching the hospital.

Total number of people with Spinal Cord Injury
Current estimates are 250,000 – 400,000 individuals living with Spinal Cord Injury or Spinal Dysfunction.

  • 82% male, 18% female
  • Highest per capita rate of injury occurs between ages 16-30
  • Average age at injury – 33.4
  • Median age at injury – 26
  • Mode (most frequent) age at injury 19

Causes of Spinal Cord Injury

  • Motor vehicle accidents (44%)
  • Acts of violence (24%)
  • falls (22%)
  • sports (8%) (2/3 of sports injuries are from diving)
  • other (2%)

Falls overtake motor vehicles as leading cause of injury after age. 45

Acts of violence and sports cause fewer injuries as age increases.  Acts of violence have overtaken falls as the second most common source of spinal cord injury in the last 4 years.

Again with all this being said it’s fair to say that a percentage of these numbers are right here in the state of Texas. In the city and the surrounding areas I work, Houston’s Medical Center is world famous for the highest quality or care and rehab services.

So to further expand on point number 3, an ATP and the company they represent should not just look professional; they should be ready to meet the expatiations and standards that are “World class” for the Complex Rehab Industry they serve.

This small list can easily be 10 or more.  I’m proud to “Who I work for”, “Where I work” and always, ALWAYS, who my work is for!

To all my past, current and future clients, I sure hope I’ll always provide that “X-factor” that lets you know I’m working to be the best I can be. Thanks for the opportunity and I can’t wait for the next step we all take together.

by Mike Duenas, ATP | Active American Mobility and Medical Supply
Houston  San Antonio  Dallas

Research websites:

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