Background The rehabilitation medicine unit provides individualised care and therapy that allows for a return to maximum independence as soon as possible after traumatic or vascular incidents. Such therapies use mainly orthoses. Nevertheless, most French rehabilitation medicine units do not have an orthotist due to the limited bed number (<100). In France, only pharmacists with additional training can perform orthotic activities. In addition, French pharmacist are in charge of handling and delivering medical devices for hospitalised patients. Thus pharmacists could be an interesting alternative to perform orthotic activity in rehabilitation medicine units without an orthotist.
Purpose Evaluation of orthotic activities performed by pharmacists in a French rehabilitation medicine unit of 25 beds.
Material and methods We describe 6 months of patient’s orthotic care after implementation of orthotic activities performed by hospital pharmacists.
Results After implementation of orthotic activity by hospital pharmacists, all patients were wearing their correct orthoses allowing full efficiency of such medical devices. This was possible due to several factors, leading to reactive and personalised caring:
Regular evaluations of patient needs with physical therapists and physiatrists inducing:
clear therapy objectives and prescriptions;
potential orthosis changes or adjustments.
Prevention of errors during patient measurements.
Patient follow-up a few days after orthoses delivery to prevent potential misuse or difficulties using the orthosis.
Creation of an orthoses allocation allowing immediate treatment and eventually to allow the design by the pharmacist of a personalised orthosis.
Conclusion The development of an orthotic activity is essential to optimise the efficiency of therapies in rehabilitation medicine units. Indeed, such therapies required rapid and personalised delivering of well fitted devices to increase patient compliance, orthosis efficiency, thereby preventing potential sequelae or patient aggravation. The manufacture of personalised orthoses in thermoformable plastic is also interesting from a hygienic angle. Also, these activities, comparable with pharmaceutical consultations with both pharmacologic and orthotic patient caring, enable quicker pharmaceutical integration in the medical units. In additions, these consultations allow patient recognition of pharmacists as health agents by direct contact with them.
No conflict of interest
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