If physical therapists (PTs) are to hold on to their reputation as trailblazers, they'd better realize that they're lighting out to some very different territory from that of their counterparts years ago, according to Linda Crane lecturer Dianne V. Jewell, PT, DPT, PhD. Jewell's remarks were delivered February 4 at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting.
For Jewell, the new "wild country" that PTs need to navigate is one in which the profession needs to move beyond its "white hat" reputation and actively engage all health care and policy stakeholders in understanding the value proposition that PTs bring to the table.
Jewell, president of the Rehab Intel Network consulting group and past member of the APTA Board of Directors, challenged the lecture audience to not only embrace the outcomes-based realities of a changed health care landscape, but to move beyond even those realities and realize that simply producing data isn't enough.
Referencing APTA's new vision statement "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience," she told the audience that "our ability to fulfill our new vision depends on skilled negotiation regarding our value proposition." In other words, PTs will need to engage in careful self-reflection, informed by data, to understand how to best present the argument for the profession to a health care world driven by interests that will probably not be the same as the PT's. "That is the trail we have to blaze," she said. "It's going to be more than just making patients better."
More details on Jewell's remarks can be found in the daily CSM report available online.
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