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What does good communication (to a lab) look like?

The Anatomy of a conversation...

There are countless frameworks for communication. The simple premise is that if communication is bad… it is not communication; Communicate or not… there is not in-between; You tick a box or you don’t; You use the correct medical word, or you don’t.

The basic anatomy of communication is:
  • A presentation phase
  • An acceptance phase (where participants can express how much they understand and whether they accept the intention).
  • Some kind of purpose. (this defines a larger joint activity in terms of goals and/or plans).
  • Social constraints (The above occurs in a commonly accepted social situation and a social relationship is established).

  • Every framework of communication has pro’s and cons. The ones typically selected for a purpose generally relate to the field they are applied to.

    In the construction and delivery of medical foot orthoses, we (the practitioner) prescribe via a medical thought process (usually in a SOAP note format) to instruct the manufacturing works order (based on construction workflows typically).

    Each participant in the communication process needs to be aware that the audience (those that need to accept the intended communication) are not trained medical practitioners. They can be, however, the cost of each device would increase considerably, so this is typically unattractive to all parties in the longer term.
    To assist with this, an agreed format (the lab prescription form) is used to collect the information in our clinical brain for the use of a non-clinically trained manufacturing technicians.

    The SOAP note TO the Lab Prescription Form TO a Manufacturing Workflow

    The above communication process is not a foolproof single document that “catches all” scenarios. The SOAP to Workflow communication process is a document to prompt YOUR clinical thought process. It is used to assist practitioners to “expressly instruct” the manufacturing staff in the creation of a device.
    Typical good lab communication appears as:
  • Simple, commonly understood written terms.
  • Logical to a construction workflow.
  • Prescriptive instructions. Not descriptive.
  • Descriptive:
    Reduce arch a bit
  • Prescriptive:
    Reduce bilateral medial arches by 30% at the position indicated on the inferior sub-navicular surface. Reduce transverse arch by 20% referenced the same inferior sub-navicular position
  • Modelling that is clean / in focus, without artifacts.
  • Written prescription form content that relates to the model provided.
  • Instructions in one document
  • Authorised by practitoner (signed)
  • Quantifiable data that is indicated from a know reference point:
    Centrerpoint to be 2mm lateral from the point indicated plantar met head right.
  • Dated
  • Signed
  • Contact Details

  • Well trained lab technicians are able to associate names to shapes and positions required, however they are not trained (or paid) to challenge a thought process.

    Before you make like a tree...

    Traditional orthotic manufacturing methods and machining processes have a maximum yield of only 12.6%. In other words…

    87.4% of the materials used in traditional orthotic manufacture go to land fills.

    Through smart business, prudent application of additive technologies, material supply chains, workflow management and good design, the Footprint Hub looks to produce closed loop product lines. These products are manufactured with up to 100% renewable materials at yields of 95 – 100%.

    Thats a goal of 0% Waste

    Contact us Today.

    Communication? A reminder.

    In simple terms, communication is the process by which an accurate exchange of information occurs between individuals and/or groups of people. Good communication is evidenced by all parties satisfied with the resulting action / products generated by the interaction. Win Win Win situation.

    So… What do we instinctively choose to communicate? Find out here.