December 2015

Surestep focuses on central fabrication, continues commitment to education

SureStepLogoBy P.K. Daniel

For the past 15 years, Surestep has been a stalwart in the O&P industry, improving many lives by providing stability to children who pronate with its patented, dynamic bracing system.

To communicate its innovative philosophy and fun approach effectively, and to improve the user’s online experience, Surestep in October 2015 relaunched its website (surestep.net), logo, and tradeshow booth at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) national assembly in San Antonio, TX.

“Redesigning Surestep’s new look was a fun process,” said Bernie Veldman, CO, Surestep’s CEO. “I feel that in order to be a leader in any industry, you have to put your best foot forward. And in this case, a fresh new look invigorated our already great company and culture.”

An area of focus for Surestep is its central fabrication services. Veldman said it’s becoming more and more critical that O&P practitioners consider using outside services for timesaving central fabrication.

“As a manufacturer, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation and product development,” he said. “Allowing clinicians to tap into our knowledge and resources with our central fabrication could be a game changer for their businesses. Instead of spending valuable time fabricating, now they can spend time helping those in need.”

Central fabrication increases practitioner productivity. It keeps practitioners out of the lab and with patients. Subsequently, this means an increase in revenue, as clinicians are the only revenue generators in an O&P practice. Using Surestep central fabrication will allow clinicians to manage profitability, time, and costs easily and more effectively, Veldman said.

Surestep continues to be at the forefront of excellence in education, which is key in its overall strategic plan. As an update to Surestep Academy (surestepacademy .com), the company in August 2015 launched live, three-hour webinars. The educational content, delivered by Veldman, is the same as its in-person educational courses, which are given nationwide and internationally and focus on Surestep’s products and the importance of early intervention in patients with hypotonia.

Surestep has also kicked off a new series of online courses available on its website. These self-guided presentations can be taken any time and will offer continuing education units for certified practitioners. The new Building Blocks of Gait course is the first of five 60-minute ondemand courses. Each course will be worth 1.0 CEUs for orthotists. Physical therapists can also earn CEUs, although the number of units will vary by state. To ensure optimal patient outcomes, Surestep requires all prescribers to take its certification course, which is also available online.

“We find it extremely important to offer quality education throughout the industry,” said Suzi Klimek, Surestep’s executive director of corporate marketing. “One of our initiatives with education is launching live webinars. If you’re unable to attend one of our live, in-person courses, now you have the opportunity to hit one of our online courses, which we’ll continue to expand in 2016.”

In 2014, Surestep introduced its dynamic cervical orthosis (DCO) at AOPA’s national assembly in Las Vegas. The device is designed for patients with mild to moderate head ptosis (head drop). On the heels of its success, Surestep is introducing several more products, including one to treat pediatric torticollis.

“We have had really good response on the DCO,” said Klimek. “It’s a product that’s been very well received, and we’re trying to now build on varying product offerings that relate to the DCO.”

At AOPA’s 2015 national assembly, Surestep introduced a brace for pediatric torticollis, which is caused by unilateral tightness and shortening of one sternocleidomastoid muscle. “We have a device that ultimately helps with the straightening or lengthening of that shortened muscle,” she said. “We haven’t brought it to market yet, but it’s coming soon. It could be a very good device for the pediatric population.”

Other products introduced at the 2015 AOPA show included custom orthotic devices, joints, a measuring tool, and sneakers that are now available in black. Surestep’s sneakers, designed specifically for children who wear orthoses, offer additional width, depth, and flexibility.

Surestep’s custom orthotic devices, which offer support and stability, include the supramalleolar orthosis, ankle foot orthosis, thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis, hyperextension knee orthosis, DCO, and the new torticollis brace. All devices can be ordered using measurements with no casting required. The Spiro hinge became available in November 2015. This is a small, low-profile, lightweight joint perfect for pediatric patients. It can be used for both upper and lower extremity devices. Also, this joint can be purchased independently so clinicians can use it in their own fabricated devices.

The Sole Mate measuring tool allows clinicians to easily identify a patient’s leg length discrepancy. Eight identical plastic plates, measuring 1/8″ in height, enable clinicians to get a quick and accurate heel lift measurement every time.

Surestep also offers a product finder to assist parents who are unsure about the device that would be best for their child. Visit the products page (surestep.net/products) and click on the “let us help” button to get started. While it doesn’t take the place of a professional evaluation from a certified clinician, it can help educate and guide parents, and can aid professionals.

“This tool is helpful to those people who are able to answer a few basic questions about the child’s presentation,” said Megan Smith, CO, director of clinical research for Surestep. “As questions are being answered, the program is designed to then pull potential orthotic solutions for that patient. If anything, it guides professionals in the proper clinical direction.”

Article sponsored by Surestep.

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