Pedorthics [peh-DOR-thix] is the design, manufacture, modification and fit of footwear to alleviate problems caused by disease, overuse, congenital condition or injury*. The word “pedorthics” first appeared in medical dictionaries in 1980, although the field itself began to emerge in the late 1950’s, after World War II and an outbreak of polio created a need to address foot trauma through footwear.
A pedorthist is an individual who has studied foot anatomy and pathology, biomechanics, shoe construction and modification, foot orthosis fabrication and materials, footwear fitting and patient/practice management.
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) is the national certifying and accrediting body for the orthotic and prosthetic professions.
ABC pedorthic certification is the designations given to those individuals who have met ABC's extensive education and training requirements and/or who have passed specific examinations that are based on a comprehensive practice analysis of the pedorthic professions. The examinations measure the candidate's knowledge of pedorthics, their analytical and problem solving skills as well as clinical, patient management and communication skills. ABC pedorthic certification is the profession's highest standards for professionals providing patient care and technical services.
Pedorthic Facility Accreditation
In addition to pedorthists being accredited as individuals, ABC implemented its facility accreditation program in 1948 guided by the view that accreditation should be founded upon standards that are broad in scope and focus on those aspects of organizational activities that most directly influence the quality of orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic patient care. The standards support the ABC mission to provide quality healthcare and consequently help increase efficiency and support initiatives to improve patient outcomes.
The program encompasses comments and recommendations from a variety of resources including the federal government, business owners, clinical practitioners, patients, and healthcare payer and referral sources. The standards were field tested through on-site evaluations and written surveys to representative patient care organizations. As the foremost standard for pedorthic patient care facilities, ABC accreditation is commonly used as a standard of quality care by insurance companies and regulatory bodies. See www.abcop.org for more detail.
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