Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee at medical supply retailers “We have to explore new horizons”
Andreas Bartsch, member of the management team, Fendel & Keuchen in Aachen Germany, believes that the appropriate treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee must also include in-depth dialog – with customers, insurance providers, physicians and gyms.
Bauerfeind life: Why are you relying on networks?
Andreas Bartsch: Osteoarthritis of the knee is a subject of constant interest , not only in our store. The way the condition is being dealt with is changing. In addition to those affected, physicians, health insurance providers and families are involved. We have to explore new horizons – not only when it comes to treatment , but also concerning communication. Let me give you an example: representatives of a major health insurance company visit us personally to find out more about how new orthoses that have been added to the German Directory of Medical Aids are used in orthotic practice.
How did it come about that you were contacted?
Andreas Bartsch: A distinguished presence in the market is helpful , of course. We have acquired this presence in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of many years thanks to trained staff and a wide range of products and services.
What is communication with physicians like?
Andreas Bartsch: Direct , cooperative and on a regular basis. Many know us from events, consultations or jointly supervised wearing tests, as with GenuTrain OA (see interview on page 21). We all benefit from a trusting relationship – first of all , our patients. We take time to answer questions about the medical products and look for conversations in individual cases if another solution is more practical or reasonable for those affected. Incorrect treatment is expensive, and it doesn’t help anyone.
What is most important to customers during your conversations?
Andreas Bartsch: The top priority is clearly the hope for pain reduction. Most questions relate to that: ‘Can I go for a walk again?’ ‘What about longer hikes?’ ‘Is jogging possible?’ Obviously, hard frame orthoses have a tougher time with ambitious customers who want to remain very active. We are now often able to offer GenuTrain OA to this group, and we’re very pleased to have this option. It’s a relief for our patients and for us. Don’t forget: it’s only in recent years that we’ve had the ability to take a personalized approach to the selection of relevant orthoses and therefore to offer our patients a comprehensive solution to their problems.
Is prevention an important subject as well?
Andreas Bartsch: It’s a difficult subject. Who goes to a physician or a medical supply retailer when they’re not experiencing any problems? That’s why we cooperate with a health center. Targeted muscle development is practiced there, and awareness is raised for the prevention of osteoarthritis of the knee, meaning people can turn to us if they’re interested.
Bilder: Michael Bause
The medical supply retailer Fendel & Keuchen is known in and around Aachen for being a specialist for osteoarthritis of the knee. Andreas Bartsch, member of the management team, explains why he relies on networks and how he explores new horizons.
- In-depth dialog with patients, family, physicians and health insurance providers is the basis for effective treatment.
- Specially trained staff, comprehensive services and a wide range of products create the trust necessary for good cooperation.
- A wider selection with new orthoses, such as GenuTrain OA, creates the ability to cater for the individual requirements of osteoarthritis patients and to offer comprehensive solutions.