ACHIEVE Newsletter – Rich Shaw

///ACHIEVE Newsletter – Rich Shaw
ACHIEVE Newsletter – Rich Shaw2022-08-29T17:50:16+00:00

Rich Shaw’s Interdisciplinary Approach to Patient Care

Rich Shaw is the practice manager of Transcend’s office in Spring, TX. He is experienced and licensed both as a physical therapist and a certified orthotist, allowing him to see each patient from multiple treatment perspectives.

Rich sees the value in his interdisciplinary approach to patient care and, therefore, understands the importance of working together with physicians and other specialists as a healthcare team to improve patient outcomes.

“If you approach each case with a team approach—and have good relationships with all members of your team—you can often come up with more tools to solve a problem than just the ones in your own tool bag,” Rich says.

Rich’s Career in Physical Therapy and Orthotics

Rich started his career as a physical therapist in a hospital in North Houston, working there for more than 10 years in both patient care and administrative roles. Although he now works full-time at Transcend, he continues to work weekend shifts at the hospital to maintain his credentials as a physical therapist.

In 2011, a colleague chose to pursue a new opportunity in the orthotics and prosthetics industry as the practice manager of Transcend O&P (formerly Hope Orthotics). He approached Rich with an opportunity to join him, and he accepted. He worked as a staff clinician until 2018, when he transitioned to the role of practice manager.

Rich is experienced in the full range of modern orthotic bracing styles and techniques. He is well-known for his positive track record in bracing young patients with spastic, high-tone cerebral palsy.

An Interdisciplinary Team of PTs, Orthotists, and Others

Rich loves to collaborate with area physicians and physical therapists, meeting regularly with multidisciplinary teams to help solve challenging cases. He and several team members examine patients together, assessing patient needs and discussing treatment goals and options.

“Not every referral is an orthotics issue alone,” Rich says. “Having all three disciplines there with a patient opens my eyes.” Bracing is often a single component of tone management, which may also include oral medication, injections, serial casting, or surgery.

PTs benefit from having a working relationship with an orthotist. Our clinician can talk through the benefits of different devices, in some cases giving the PT an opportunity to trial a device with a patient. 

Doctors benefit too. When they refer patients to Transcend, they know our interdisciplinary team is working on their patients’ challenges using a wide set of skills and experiences.

How the Transcend Team Works

”This is all about relationships,” Rich stated. He believes the relationships you build are critical and work in the best interest of everyone involved. If there is trust and respect between individuals on the healthcare team, everyone is able to work together and produce optimal results for the patient.

Rich and his team strive to earn the trust of: 

  • Patients
  • Parents
  • Peers
  • Doctors
  • Referral sources

“You want your referral sources to think of you as part of their team,” Rich says. “You want them to think, ‘I need to talk to the other guy on my team,’” referring to himself and his clinical staff.

Rich encourages his staff to look at patients with an open mind, making critical assessments based on what they see during an appointment. “Just because patients come in with a referral for a brace doesn’t always mean that’s the only treatment available for them.”

If Transcend discovers that a different type of brace—or a non-bracing treatment—is better for a patient, the team will consult with the doctor or PT again and recommend a revised plan.This defines Rich’s practice: working with a diversely talented team to define the most beneficial treatment for a patient. That’s what Rich really loves to do.

Looking to the Future

Rich is improving his team’s evidence-based approach. He wants to be sure that they are choosing treatments based on peer-reviewed research. His office is also extending their expertise from pediatric orthotics into prosthetics, improving their ability to serve more patients. If you work in or near Spring, TX, contact the Transcend office at (281) 296-8999 to collaborate with Rich and his team.