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Enhancing Quality of Prosthetic and Orthotic Services with Process and Outcome Information


Why is this study needed?

Despite the availability of standard measures to assess functional status, quality of life and satisfaction with services and devices, provider enthusiasm for routine outcomes monitoring and improvement is diminished by the time and expense. We worked with the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics, Orthotics and Pedorthics (ABC) and Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes (FOTO) to develop an outcomes monitoring, data collection and reporting service and education program that gives providers the information they need to improve patient care quality.

How will this study help patients and rehabilitation stakeholders?

This study was conducted to enhance quality healthcare in prosthetic and orthotic practices and help increase efficiency and support initiatives that improve patient outcomes as well as allow providers to compare their patient outcomes with other providers.

What were the project objectives?

  • Objective 1:  Develop a database of process and outcome indicators that are useful in guiding clinical practice improvement activities
  • Objective 2: Develop an educational curriculum that enhances clinicians’ ability to integrate process and outcome information in improving P&O care delivery quality
  • Objective 3: Analyze facility compliance with ABC’s Performance Management and Improvement Standards
  • Objective 4: Evaluate and refine the curriculum on use of quality indicators to improve clinical practice and outcomes

What agency funded this project?

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

What was the duration of the project?

October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2013

Project Staff

Co-Principal Investiagors:

Allen Heinemann, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Linda Ehrlich-Jones, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago


Mike Brncick, CPO (NUPOC)

Dennis Hart, Ph.D., PT (FOTO)

Catherine Carter (American Board for Certification in Prosthetics and Orthotics)

Project Manager:

Lauri Connelly


Related Presentation

Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, presents Quality Improvement: What Is It and How Do We Use It? 

If you have questions or comments regarding the presentation, please contact Lauri Connelly, Clinical Research Coordinator: or call 312-238-1405.

Related Project Research Web Sites

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

Northwestern University Prosthetics Research Laboratory and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics

Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes

Contact Information

For researchers and students:

Allen Heinemann, Ph.D.


For members of the media: