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  • Innovative Physical Therapy Models Vie for Support at Workshop

    How do you bolster widespread replication of promising models of health care delivery across the country? Feed them to the sharks.

    Although the inhabitants in APTA’s Innovation 2.0 Workshop “tank” resembled friendly dolphins more than bloodthirsty sharks, their valuable feedback gave presenters at the workshop plenty to consider as they now refine proposed models, in search of funding and other support from the association.

    The May 8-9 workshop in Alexandria, Virginia, featured a “Shark Tank” set-up, in which 21 proposed models were presented to expert panelists for questions and critique. These 21 finalists, chosen before the workshop from 60 submitted models, will use the advice to finalize detailed proposals in hopes of being among those chosen by APTA to receive funding and in-kind services to advance their models. In return, APTA will be able to access model data that potentially helps the association develop and disseminate resources that enable members to promote the impact of physical therapy in the emerging health care environment.

    While each proposed model was different, a few common themes emerged:

    • The promise of overall cost savings often was the attention-getter for receiving internal support for a project, even if physical therapy-specific expenditures increased, if they enabled other expenditures to drop.
    • Working to even out health disparities among underserved or disadvantaged populations was an important factor in many programs.
    • Interprofessional collaboration was key in most cases.

    Interspersed between the model presentations, speakers offered their expertise on several relevant topics.

    Alan Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA, stressed that what we do now won’t be useful unless it becomes the new normal—translating the results from clinical studies to everyday practice. From here, Jette said, we need to plan initiatives to achieve dissemination and adoption of clinical innovations, such as a “PT innovation extension service” or “PT innovation fellowships.” By fostering innovation in this way, not only can initiatives such as the 21 described at the workshop start making a difference now, but, as noted by APTA CEO Michael Bowers in opening remarks, they “will make a difference in years to come.”

    To give presenters and audience alike an example of an innovation that already was taking off, Mary Stilphen, PT, DPT, and Diane Jette, PT, DSc, FAPTA, described the Cleveland Clinic’s “6-Click” initiative, which calls for shortened forms to collect examination data—6 list items only per category such as “functional mobility.” The data gleaned from the time-saving forms, among other things, enabled more physical therapy staff to integrate into the ICU, as they could shift away from higher-functioning patients who didn’t need such a high level of help.

    Meanwhile, Tony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA, explained how to collect data and measure outcomes; Carolyn Oddo, PT, MS FACHE, described characteristics of successful relationships and teams; and Bill Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, FAPTA, shared advice on writing administrative case reports for publication in journals such as PTJ.

    More details on the model selection process, timeline for final decisions, and a list of the 21 presentations up for critique are found on the APTA Innovation 2.0 webpage. Look for more coverage when the winners are announced this summer.

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