Thursday, March 28, 2013

Consumer Awareness & Access to Physical Therapists (Part 2)

Now honestly, I should probably make this a three part post - I'd just hate to split up the continuity of this content... here's an extra long Part 2.

Continued from Part 1 of Consumer Awareness & Access to Physical Therapists.

The Business Flaw (in short):
Our biggest business flaw is a marketing problem; it is another classic case of content vs. distribution. We obviously have solid clinical content & provide good services - HOWEVER - physical therapists lack a truly effective way of bringing this content to customers.

  • Change the marketing culture of physical therapists (in Part 1)
  • Engage in new business models in proving physical therapy services.
  • Breach new healthcare roles as physical therapists.
  • Create corporate unity in law, politics, and policy.

Engage in New Business Models:
Wellness & Maintenance:
A curious cultural perspective of the physical therapy profession is that once a patient has met rehabilitation goals, they are discharged and services are discontinued. It is almost intrinsically seen as bad form to keep a patient for "too long". From a business point of view, this is insane!

Rehabilitation to wellness is a business model that I think every outpatient physical therapist should be thinking about. Wellness/maintenance is cash based in nearly all financial circumstances. Additionally, these services are valued at competitive market levels, not at predetermined "values" as arbitrated by some third party (more on this later). One physical therapist who I feel has been consistently exemplifying this business model is none other than Ann Wendel at Prana PT. Have more questions about this business model? Ask her! I'm sure Ann also has other PT's she can refer you to as additional resource.

Family Physical Therapy Concept
Here's another idea for an emerging business model: the Family Physical Therapist. Many other professions have already dialed this concept down: family physicians, dentists, optometrists, psychologists, counselors, even lawyers have demonstrated value and economic social welfare by providing services to the family unit. Why not physical therapists?

Imagine with me, now... how about a family physical therapy practice that practices as an outpatient group,  offers home health services, and is also contracted as inpatient independents at hospitals (the same way many surgeons are) should a patient be unfortunate enough to require hospitalization?

Part of the marketing issue for physical therapists is that we need to demonstrate that physical therapy is for all people of all ages of all walks of life - this goes beyond the old, the injured, and/or the athlete. A family practice physical therapist would provide developmental screenings in pediatrics, address osteoporosis concerns in geriatrics, collaborate with patients to avoid the common pitfalls of workplace ergonomics (and maybe secure an ergonomic contract at local business firms???), as well as construct solid pre-op/post-op plans for expectant orthopedic surgeries which are now so common in the baby boomer generation (ie. total knee replacement and/or total hip replacements).

Executive Health/Physical Fitness Screening
After a quick market survey of the southern California area, I found that most executive health screenings run somewhere in the range of $300-500 a pop. WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PHYSICAL THERAPISTS!

Most health screenings focus on cardiovascular health and diet; there have yet to be wellness programs developed based on physical health (neuromusculoskeletal) screenings and/or assessments. To take this down the rabbit hole further, most of these programs are modeled in such a way where wellness programs will contract with business executives at local, national, international, and even global firms. Screenings are done and spa treatment is complimentary in the form of any luxury you can imagine.

Cash-Based Physical Therapy Practice
Having tested the market with a very exclusive, modified-concierge home health/wellness PT practice, I can tell you that the demand for highly skilled health professionals that are expert in physical health, exercise, manual therapy, and physical rehabilitation is strong and healthy in our current economy. From a philosophical standpoint, I much rather our consumer's determine our market value than some predetermined set point by a 3rd party. Nevertheless, it's not always the best option for every PT practice, therefore, I'll defer further discussion to the true experts. The three that I can point out as having consistently demonstrating their expertise and presence on this topic are (in no particular order):

Dr. Jarod Carter - @DrJarodCarter
Julie Eibensteiner - @laurusrehab 
Ann Wendel - @PranaPT

Again, I'll defer the real discussion to them since they run the business in full time, real deal.

Get into product development & sales!
I've made mention to this in my Mickey Mouse Moment series in that I feel that physical therapists NEED to get into researching and developing technologies as a path to create and produce for sales and services.

I think one of the best examples I've seen do this in the Twitterverse is the OMPT himself, Dr. Erson Religioso. Having created the EDGE tool and the OMPT channel - his product has now manifested itself as the EDGE Mobility System. Along with a host of other blogs and websites, Dr. E is a great example of someone who has mastered social media generated sales for products - not to mention a solid clinical expertise to back it all up!

Physical therapists inherently fix things; there is a constellation of physical health problems which are begging for solutions. Find one. Fix it. Patent it. Sell it! And, make the world better!!!

Creating Demand through Social Media 
So I've been hinting at this through Part 1 of this post as well as the CSM2013 reflections 2 part post; as we all know, social media has become perhaps the most viral of all medias known to man. What once used to rely upon the printing press, then the radio, which morphed into the air waves of television, now is the free market digital code of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and much more.

However, I think that for the consumer, the big three remain Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp. Consumers look at Facebook to see how their friends & family regard a business. Consumers will independently look at Twitter to see how proactive, and, perhaps more importantly - how many followers a business has as a measure of reputation. Finally, consumers will take a careful look at Yelp reviews to see if they should even bother with your business. Regardless of which social media outlet(s) is/are favored for your business or persona, the key is consistency - AND - INTERACTION. The general strategy is to create demand, which will create its own awareness, which will develop momentum to legally leverage consumer access to physical therapists in manners of the following:

  • Have patients, families, friends, business allies, clients, and suppliers like your Facebook page.
  • Have the same group of people follow your Twitter handle.
  • Encourage any consumer that receives any service from you leave a review on Yelp.
  • Post a blog or tips of the day or week; it can be done so on Facebook if the post is short enough!
  • Offer social media incentive programs when interactions are done:
    • Raffle a free wellness manual physical therapy session for liking a Facebook page.
    • Offer product giveaways, gift cards (to anywhere!), or special services to your practice for sharing a Facebook post on their home page or adjunct Facebook page.
    • Use a special retweet offer for a 10% discount on a 3 month wellness checkup after patients have met their goals.
    • Have new patients & clients mention (or print out a special Yelp based coupon) that they found you on Yelp for a free/discounted service/product.
    • Use Twitter #FF #FollowFriday mentions as a raffle for a free 6 month check-up.
    • Interact with patients via Facebook and Twitter as a method of checking up on their weekly progress; post on their Facebook wall (should they give you permission!), "How's the shoulder today?" - You can tweet them as well (should they give you permission!), "How are your back exercises going? #MDT"
    • Encourage patients, clients, and other consumers to join #solvePT discussion or thread on your own Facebook page. Offer prizes for doing so.
    • Offer prizes and/or raffles for using social media to log patient Home Exercise Programs (HEP's); imagine if 50 patients a day tweeted your handle about how they did their HEP - some even with a video or picture tweet. What if some of them were social media fiends just like you, and, shared a photo album on their Facebook page and tagged you along with it!?
    • The list can go ON and ON.

Again, physical therapy practice suffers from poor market distribution. We have great things to share and are having a very difficult time sharing it. Social media costs next to nothing - just your free time and passion. Yet, for the larger practices, you can have an office secretary manage some of the online interactions.

Breach New Healthcare Roles:
This area is perhaps more pertinent to physical therapists working in the inpatient settings, however, it can also carry over conceptually to emerging business models. I made some reference to some of these ideas on Therapydia's PT TV Episode 12.

Inpatient physical therapy practice can be quite challenging because of the vast interdependence on the wide range of other healthcare professionals, and, the organizational politics which such dynamics are inherently bonded with. Nevertheless, if we wish to improve consumer awareness AND access, we must also do so by breaching new grounds in healthcare roles. Examples of such include roles in healthcare administration, case management, utilization review, interdisciplinary practice councils, and innovative & collaborative change initiatives.

Our fellow healthcare professionals are actually our best allies. Nurses and physicians being the most influential as well as the best positioned allies we can strengthen our ties to. Imagine if an entire host of nurses throughout a hospital are keenly aware of what physical therapist do, our training, our education, our scope of practice - how much power such awareness will hold to our consumers at large! Additionally, if an entire medical group or health system's affiliated physicians regard physical therapists as the key to solving their chronic pain, weight loss, osteoporosis, and mobility impaired patient populations - how much better would that make consumer access to physical therapists?!

Breaching new healthcare roles is vital in positioning ourselves in areas to influence change, spark new initiatives, and improve policies. Such actions can actuate cross-professional functionality which will make our allies aware, our consumers aware, and eventually - will spark advocacy to fight for access - or - may  provide access through health system policy change as a start/interim (which we've seen already!).

The Big Guns: Law, Politics, and Policy:
A call to PT directors, managers, and owners: bring out the big guns! For far too long the physical therapy profession has played a game of legal defense. It is time to take initiative, get possession of the ball, and move the line of scrimmage in the other direction!

Ultimately, we are locked into what we are legally licensed to do. Therefore, OFFENSIVE movements in legislation to aggressively protect AND expand our LEGAL scope of practice is the next step in safeguarding our consumers and their ability to access our expertise for care. California has tried to get direct access to physical therapists for years; due to a heated battle over turf and policy, we have yet to attain what many other states have decided is best for the public. Nevertheless, our patients - our consumers - are the key to securing direct access. They will never be truly satisfied with our service without direct access, and, they will never get it unless the general public is aware of the scope, depth, and breadth of services which physical therapists provide. In the state of California where I practice, this is a great battle that needs to be won - more information can be found HERE:
However, this legal battle must be accompanied by our bosses and our bosses' bosses becoming impassioned to change current business strategies, to foster forward thinking growth in organizational culture, and, to progress health system business strategies for more a smoother, inter-system-referral-model to expedite care for patients needing care from a neuromusculoskeletal expert. Yet, this goes beyond just business operations. Bring out the big guns may need to include making corporate policies to join the APTA (which is really the most salient advocacy group for our legal/professional rights), to pursue clinical credentially en masse, to write legislators en masse, etc. This is particularly important for large health systems which employ hundreds of physical therapists - all well positioned to influence the politicians, the public, and the private sector at large.

Yet, another vein of thought is for physical therapists not to just get involved in legal and corporate advocacy, I would suggest we should indeed explore politics itself! Perhaps there are other options and better points of leverage should we attain legislative positions. Maybe? I should think so.

What's required along the way? Professional Unity:
It's difficult to present a good argument to the public and to the politicians if our professional unity is anything but sterling. I made mention about this in my Mickey Mouse blog post from the New Year; we are better being more similar than dissimilar. It's better for marketing, it's better for business, and it's better for our patients.

There needs to be reconciled unity in the physical therapy profession at large. The PT culture is broken; we're segmented in grouping of age, time of graduation from school, degree conferred, specialty, setting, those who want direct access & those who don't, and of course, general life goals/desires. These segments should be strong parts of a greater whole, not petty ground to quibble over. What perhaps is the most terrifying is how willing the culture is in tearing each other down - rather than promoting each other's strengths. When is the last time you'e heard another health professional of a different discipline or complimentary-alternative-medicine professional speak ill of their colleagues? Sure. Like any profession - there are good apples, there are bad apples - there always exists a performance curve. But, how about this? Instead of accepting a normal distribution in our performance culture:

Low Performance-Low Passion ó High Performance-High Passion

Why not promote each other, take criticism through constructive accountability, and build a culture through academia, residencies, and fellowship that looks more like this:
Low Performance-Low Passion ó High Performance-High Passion

Such would be a state of professionalism where all physical therapists exhibit high performance and passion in all the aspects of our practice. Sure. It's a long work in progress - I say its worth laboring for - TOGETHER.

Want inspiration?
If you feel you need a little extra "umph" to gather momentum in how you wish to market your services, check out this amazing lecture on selling your ideas the "Steve Jobs Way". I think this is one of the best lectures I've seen regarding presentation styles and marketing content. Enjoy!

  • Physical therapists need to make a cultural change in self-perception and intrinsic willingness to market our services, our abilities, our training/education, and our contributions to both consumers and referral sources alike.
  • Physical therapists need to explore new business models to provide for the demand which is ALREADY present in the consumer marketplace. Not exploring such business options is leaving ready oilfields untapped.
  • Physical therapists must breach new healthcare roles, especially in regards to healthcare administration, case management, and healthcare councils in order to place the profession in a locked-and-ready position to pounce on opportunities of expansion and growth.
  • Physical therapy managers need to create corporate policies encouraging/requiring employees support legal rights of physical therapists, influence organizational culture changes for positive growth and professional unity, and, perhaps seek out opportunities - or - promote their own employees to seek out opportunities in the world of legislation and politics as a method to better position our profession at large.

Regardless of which paths we choose to better our future and the future of public health, I believe there is something that can definitely be agreed upon:

Much work to be done as to inform the public that there exists a healthcare practitioner specializing in pain, mobility, & restoring ability for life.

I hope you've enjoyed this "business side" of this blog and hope to share more business solutions including a Mickey Mouse Moment Follow-Up.

Thank you for reading and sharing in my thoughts.

Very respectfully,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Consumer Awareness & Access to Physical Therapists (Part 1)

Physical Therapists NEED consumer awareness!

No awareness, no access. We all know this. So what's the solution? Well, first lets establish two working postulates to facilitate discussion:
  • First, to find a solution, one must first accurately identify the problem
  • Second, to solve a problem, one must subsequently establish a situation analysis
The Problem:
For too long, the profession of physical therapy has been internally and externally regarded with a naive purity of human caring and legitimate sciences. Now of course, the art of caring and a loyalty to solid research is really a business strength. However, to be real, healthcare (physical therapy included, of course) is truly in a battleground of BUSINESS principles - and - as we all know, the world of business is far from a pure and noble battleground.

The Situation:

The Business Flaw:
Our biggest business flaw is a marketing problem; it is another classic case of content vs. distribution. We obviously have solid clinical content & provide good services. However, as a culture, our profession hasn't been doing the best job of distributing that content to all of our access points (regardless of if PT's have direct access or not) - be it physicians, other providers, through media, or word of mouth - it seems like, still, no one really knows what we do. And, how can the public increase in demand if they don't know the supply exists? Obviously, consumer awareness will solve consumer access; in the marketplace, people are VERY good at getting what they want, when they want it. I propose that the physical therapy profession has not done sufficient marketing work to create the demand we want.

  • Change the marketing culture of physical therapists.
  • Engage in new business models in providing physical therapy services.
  • Breach new healthcare roles as physical therapists.
  • Create corporate unity in law, politics, and policy.

Changing the Marketing Culture:
Promote with pride
There seems to be this undertone of culture in certain segments of physical therapy culture to which physical therapists do their very best to remain humble - almost to the point of self-deprecation. People see this and they do not see humility, they see weakness and insecurity. The dissonance with physical therapists is that clinically, it is good to be humble - no one ever knows everything. Unfortunately, in business practice, weakness and insecurity are kisses of death. EVERY physical therapist should be preaching about the profession - every chance they get - with no reservation nor hesitation. That leads us to our next strategy:

Promote at the interdisciplinary workplace
If you are a physical therapist working in the acute care or SNF setting, THIS IS FOR YOU. If you want consumer awareness, if you want nurses to think you do more than walk patients down the hall - you NEED to take every chance you have, talk to every interdisciplinary team member you come across - share your expertise, your passion, and your personage. What so few physical therapists truly conceive is that the profession isn't what services you are trying to market; you must market your very self! A good marketing strategy links emotional content with market demand; people identify with relationships, however, tend to be less selective with packaged services/objects. If you notice a nurse rubbing their neck, ask them about it. Give them that professional courtesy consult. I, personally, will give a quick manual therapy assess/treat and cue them for postural correction just to start with & go from there. Imagine the power of giving a different interdisciplinary team member 5-10 minutes of your daily time to address the common neuromusculoskeletal issues that we all live with? How about discuss recent weight loss and exercise trends people are talking about in the lunch room? Now you're more than a just professional, you are living a marketing presence for PT practice!

Promote through media
There is SUCH a lack of physical therapists promoting their practice and expertise through traditional media; television, radio, and movie theater previews are still powerful marketing agents. However, one area physical therapists are truly mastering is social media. Still, there is more work to be done, we need to engage our consumers on social media outlets - especially Facebook and Twitter.

Though these venues, physical therapy can be promoted through referral incentives and social media interactions. I'll talk more about this in the "Engage in New Business Models" section, but, just think if discounts were given for referring a family member. How about a free wellness massage giveaway for liking a Facebook page or for a patient uploading their home exercise program on YouTube? Food for thought.

Promote at the office
Remember, the answer resides with consumer demand. If consumer want it, they will get it. We need to give them the tools. In an outpatient setting, this is made easiest. Imagine there is a return patient waiting in the lounge, he is feeling a LOT better. What a great opportunity to have office staff educate about direct access for PT's!

"Sir. I see on your file you went to urgent care for your back pain. Your doctor waited two weeks before referring you to a physical therapist. Wouldn't it have been better if you could come to us directly on the day you got hurt?"

How interesting... the answer always seems to be "YES!" Hand the patient a single page info on direct access, legislator phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mails, social media outlets - even have a single page fax ready to go, all they have to do is sign and the office will fax the letter/petition for them!

I hope you've enjoyed the business perspective of this new blog. I have the other three recommendations, an amazing video regarding marketing content, and more discussion coming up in Part 2 of Consumer Awareness & Access to Physical Therapists.

Stay tuned!!

Here is PART 2.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Top 3, Top 3’s from CSM 2013 (Part 2)

Continued from Top 3, Top 3 Lessons from CSM 2013 Part 1

Top 3 Ways to Improve Conference

I was given the opportunity to attend one of the APTA’s focus groups regarding the quality and future improvements of CSM. Here are the top three ways that my group felt the conference could be improved:

1. Speaker content vs. description vs. title congruency – This seemed to be one of the biggest complaints that the title of each sessions, the description, and the actual content consistently did NOT match. Additionally, there were complaints that the “intermediate” courses tended to be too research focused. Introduction and Methodology are all great – but we can read that on our own time. Please blow through the results and conclusion so we can discuss how to apply the research to our practices.

2. WALKING DISTANCE! The walking distance between Hilton hotel and the San Diego Convention Center was atrocious. I clocked the average walking time at 15 minutes depending on the floor you were trying to reach between either building – wasn't there more rooms available in the convention center itself? In any case, we did express this concern.

3. Finally, the meager 2 hours for “uninterrupted” time dedicated to viewing the expo room. We all agreed: that 2 hour slot is TOO short! By the time everyone spent their 15 minutes getting out of the buildings, making way to the San Diego Gaslamp district, grabbed food, paid, and tried to hike it back to the convention center, you’d have MAYBE 45 minutes left to figure out which part of the expo hall you wanted to focus on. If you found something of interest and got into a deep discussion, your ENTIRE 45 minutes we spent right there at that one spot. We also mentioned in the focus group that topic specific and color coded regions of the expo hall would be helpful to add into the CSM program along with visual cues throughout the expo hall itself. 

Top 3, Top 3 Lessons from CSM 2013 – Afterword, Runner up's “Top Three, Threes”:

1. We Need More Board Specialties! A very large theme in just about any discussion I was a part of was that the specialty board needs to open up more specialties! Acute Care PT is the one that is just BLARING out for its own clinical specialty. For just about anyone who attended sessions focusing on vestibular rehabilitation can attest that there is enough room for Vestibular & Balance PT to have its own specialty as well. In fact, more of the special interest groups could stand to benefit from being given their own recognition rather than being lumped into a larger group.

2. Students and Social Media: PT schools are having SPT’s becoming members of APTA, typically as part of their grade for an ethics course or business/administration/legal course. Such should also be the case for Twitter or any other social media outlet. Want an “A” in this course? Make a Twitter account!

3. Social Media Segments: Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Google+ 

  • Twitter tends to connect people with new people; forming bonds with a new community – typically one of your peers or an expert you hope to reach out to.
  • Facebook is connecting and/or reconnecting with people you’ve already met, with a community you already know - this is a great place to deepen relationships.
  • Google+ offers advantages in live-time-media interaction (ie. hangouts); there is a lot of potential and should be explored as it continues development.
  • Barrier: TIME. Good grief. I don't know about you, but, I already spend enough time on Twitter as it is! How do we keep up with all of these social media outlets? Oh, right... no one sleeps anymore.
4. Have you been to Nursing Conferences? We have a LOT to work up to! Some of my PT colleagues have attended & spoken at Nursing Conferences; they have really set the bar high. And, again, reinforcing that nurses NEED to be our next target of social media contact, collaboration, and alliance. Nurses have so much power and influence over the direction of healthcare, we'd be foolish to ignore such friends.

Finally: A Special Social Media Shoutout to the following organizations in the Expo who went out of their way to make a special connection with me during #CSM2013!

Clinicient - Great product, awesome teas...

WebPT – one of the largest booths with a great wall; use photo

HomeCEU’s – never get there early enough for prizes… this is GREAT. It means they are connecting!

Therapydia – expansive forward thinking understanding of how to meld rehab and wellness to create a loyal market share through social media.

Sharp Healthcare & Sharp Careers – Local representation from a hard working health system gunning to be the “Best Place to Work” in the universe!

CSM2013 was a definite energizer – a builder of the mountain high experience. The danger of mountain high experiences is that once you hit the valley, it’s all over. We need to use social media to encourage each other in the many cases where we aren't physically in person to support each other. Healthcare professionals using social media are already the cream of the crop – it’s a lot of extra time and effort to promote each other and promote best practices for our patients.

In fact, you are reading this blog, you are already part of the solution and I’m preaching to the choir. The struggle is not just to be motivated. The struggle is not even to stay motivated. The struggle is to motivate others and inspire change in the systems and concomitant barriers to cause improvement.

I encourage all of you to bring another healthcare professional – particularly that of a NON-PT discipline – to join the discussions in social media venues, and, join the #solvePT movement (along with all the other PT hashtags out there). And, of course, that means we need to join up to other healthcare hashtags, too... right?

So! Thanks for reading this MUCH belated post about CSM 2013; I have another two part post coming up:
Consumer Awareness & Access to Physical Therapists - Part 1 & Part 2. Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Top 3, Top 3’s from CSM 2013 (Part 1)

Hi everyone! First off, I want to thank you all for all your support during this time as I launch this new blog. I also want to apologize in that this blog post is so incredibly delayed. Nevertheless, life has finally offered the time and energy to compile and publish these (perhaps retroactive) thoughts on APTA’s CSM 2013. I look forward to your thoughts.

Most respectfully,

Combined Sections Meeting, 2013 (#CSM2013 on Twitter) for the American Physical Therapy Association was held from January 21st through January 24th in San Diego, California – America’s Finest City (and my hometown!). During this massive conference, all the various sections, special interest groups, and members of the American Physical Therapy Association gathered to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, strengthen networks, and learn from the world’s greatest experts representing all specialties of Physical Therapy practice. Throughout this experience, I tried to jot down and tweet all the great lessons I learned and the favorite experiences I had for this blog post, however, I couldn't narrow things down enough – there was just too much good stuff. Therefore, I've decided to go with my Top 3 from my Top 3 favorite categories during the event (along with some bonus runner ups) – so – let’s begin!

Top 3: “Lessons”

1. Acute Care is positioned with powerful potentials to impact healthcare by force of millions and millions of dollars in the near future – we MUST demonstrate and openly MARKET our value!

    • Expanding professional scope through specialty programs such as Emergency Department Physical Therapy practice, adjunct neuromusculoskeletal differential diagnosis to physicians, healthcare system initiatives (for example fall prevention and advanced patient mobility programs), and transdisciplinary leadership are just a few of the ways Acute Care PT’s can utilizing their passion, position, and skill sets to positively impact more than just the profession - such moves will expand to influence and improve healthcare at large!
    • How do we do this?
      • We, as a profession, MUST COLLABORATE with other allied healthcare professionals. Physical therapists tend to be too independently motivated; "I am an expert clinician" should mature to become "we are an expert health system"
      • Our prime targets: the political power house of Registered Nurses, and, of course – the Physicians.
      • A great resource for healthcare hashtags and nursing hashtags are in the links below:

    • I’ve already began a list on my twitter handle called “Transdisciplinary Allies” and hope we can begin merging discussions from #solvePT and #DPTstudent with other disciplines in healthcare.
    • Physical therapists must NOT be afraid... we MUST rise to become healthcare leaders. All too often, rehab professionals tend to sequester themselves in a little box – perhaps uninterested, unwilling, afraid, or unknowing of how to mingle with the rest of the executive healthcare crowd. Maybe it’s because we speak a different language, maybe it’s as simple as the fact we are indeed a different cultural group of professionals. To be a leader, one must cross the aisle. I remember a great tweet during CSM which in essence said that: “a good leader is always on the edge of chaos.”
    • Use standard measures, collect data, analyze, synthesize, and share the success! 
    • Too many Acute PT departments practice in such asynchronous rhythms; objective measures are not used in force but are simply haphazardly waved like a wand at the EHR
    • We add value to our best political allies by doing the following:
      • With nurses: develop mobility solutions, fall prevention, and safety measures
      • With physicians: provide efficient, accurate, and beneficial discharge recommendations
2. Make satisfied patients loyal, life-long customers; maintain this connection through social media. The day of the newsletter is gone, the generation of Social Media is already here. Using Social Media as follow up and promotional tools is the future of maintaining strong connections with your patients and with the public at large.
    • We should transition rehabilitation into wellness by offering free check ups.
    • Utilize Facebook likes and shares with incentives, prizes, free or discount services. 
    • Capitalized on Twitter retweets and mentions in the same manner.
    • Hold raffles entered by social media interactions.
    • Market monthly check ups for 6 months, then, biannual checkups.
    • Follow biannual check ups with annual checkups for minimal fees much like dentists, optometrists, and family physicians – WHY NOT!? We should! I'll be talking more on this - again - in a following post on business solutions.
3. PT does not need intraprofessional competition; we need intraprofesional collaboration. DO NOT COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER; competition within the interior of a market group insinuates that there is enough demand to go around. Such is NOT the case - I will be going into this in a following post regarding business solutions for physical therapy practice. Stay tuned...

Top 3 Favorite Moments

1. The #solvePT get together: was by far my most favorite moment throughout the entire conference. Why? For myself, and for many of us, this was the first time we were able to physically meet up with the Tweeps for which we have all gotten to know over the last year or so. What was most impressive was that the personality of each person carried it’s consistency through social media outlets as it did in person. If anything, this was a powerful testament to the range and depth that social media plays in our society today. It has applications to Physical Therapy practice, to business networking, and even to customer/patient satisfaction.
2. The exposition hall, especially with ALL THAT TECHNOLOGY! – I mentioned the need for Physical Therapy practice to seriously invest in the research and development of clinical technology in my Part 2 Disney, Mickey Mouse Moment Blog Post. I was ecstatic to see so many vendors and exhibitors with all sorts of technology for Physical Therapy practice. I even tried out cold laser treatments and frequency specific microcurrent. I snatched their articles (with permission) and look forward to making some time to audit the quality of research.

3. Seeing ALL the students, and, friends of new & old - and running into everyone, sporadically throughout the convention; some who I've met on Twitter, others with who I was reconnecting with friends from college and graduate school. If CSM is anything - it is absolutely social!

Alright then, that's it for now! Hang tight for more coming up including some highlight pictures! All in Part 2 of Top 3, Top 3’s from CSM 2013!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Therapydia PT TV Episode 12: Acute Care, Promoting Best Practice

Hello everyone!

I hope you were able to watch Therapydia's PT TV tonight. In case you weren't able to, Episode 12: Acute Care, Promoting Best Practice is available here:

PT TV was an incredible experience - talking live and discussing the cutting edge concepts and practice patterns with two of the industries most prominent physical therapists was true honor - not to mention a complete pleasure. You should've seen our off the air discussions - we really should do outtakes!

In any case, I wanted to highlight some of the top thought take-aways that I felt were critically important to physical therapy practice.

Top Thoughts (in no particular order):

  • Physical therapy schools need to make Acute Care PT a mandatory clinical rotation.
  • To truly be ready for direct access, physical therapists MUST be thoroughly trained in the complex setting of an acute hospital.
  • Physical therapy professional education and training models need change. Especially in acute care, a  2:1, 3:1, or even more perhaps - needs to be implemented to reduce strain on both students and hospitals. After all, all other disciplines have operated in this manner.
  • Clinical independence is insane. Physical therapy has a strange culture of valuing, requiring, guarding, and being emotionally defensive about clinical independence. However, no other profession does this. Most notably in acute care, hospitals & internists constantly consult other disciplines, physician specialists, and order diagnostic tests BECAUSE they are NOT independent - the complex medical involvements seen in the acute care hospital is far too complex for any one practitioner to actually be "independent" - this leads to the unspoken (and politically avoided) question of accountability within the physical therapy profession.
  • For lack of a better description, "hardcore" acute care residency and fellowships must pave the way for not just the future of acute care PT, but all settings of PT - particularly in the wake of direct access. If physical therapists are truly to understand medical screening, acute care is not just the best; it is the ONLY place to truly absorb and appreciate the content. Additionally, such post-graduate programs would create a new culture of constructively challenging clinical thought, fostering professional accountability, and developing new business models of physical therapy practice.
  • Physical therapists in acute care need to find ways to breach new healthcare roles; case management, healthcare administration, business operations, research BEYOND functional measures - these MUST be championed.
  • Early ICU intervention and Emergency Department practice patterns are the new clinical wave in acute care PT.
  • Acute care physical therapists bring value to the health system NOT by productivity numbers; physical therapists bring value by adding expert solutions for healthcare professionals, health systems at large... by decreasing readmission rates, decreasing lengths of stay, increasing customer surplus, adding to social welfare, pioneering a triple-thread cord of TRUE continuity of care throughout a health system, and, by improving the medical status of patients via physical therapy interventions - of particular focus,  to positively impact that of non-threatening/non-pathological physiological/pain/movement dysfunctions which are costing healthcare enormous amounts of money as is.
Please feel free to comment here on this blog - and - to tweet myself, Dr. Gorman, & Dr. Ridgeway with any  thoughts, questions, or concerns about acute care!

Sincerely & Respectfully,
-Ben Fung

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Therapydia PT TV, March 14th, 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm excited to share that Dr. Sharon Gorman, Dr. Kyle Ridgeway, and myself are going to be on Therapydia's PT TV, Episode 12: Acute Care, Promoting Best Practice!

If you have any specific questions, topics, or aspects of practice you'd like addressed, please:

My Best,

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog @DrBenFung

Greetings, everyone!

I am very pleased to introduce to you my new website, Blog @DrBenFung located at With much of my recent content shifting to scopes of topics outside the world of Kettlebell Therapy™, I decided that a new, more accurately titled website was in order. I will soon be posting on MUCH belated thoughts from the American Physical Therapy Association's, Combined Sections Meeting, 2013. In actuality, a large part of the reason I have delayed posting these thoughts for so long has been the forming of this website concept.

So - I thank you all for your following, your support, your thoughts, and your friendship as I launch and develop Blog @DrBenFung.

Sincerely and respectfully,