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  • Wanted: PT Perspectives on Clinical Education

    A sweeping multiorganizational effort to create a shared vision for physical therapist clinical education has arrived at a turning point and is now reaching out to the profession for input.

    The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), APTA, the Education Section of APTA, and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBT) have announced several opportunities for stakeholders in physical therapy to get involved in a conversation about best practices for clinical education in entry-level physical therapist education.

    The opportunities for PT input are being offered in several areas:

    • APTA members are encouraged to read and comment on 7 position papers that were published in a special issue of the Journal of Physical Therapy Education (JOPTE).
    • Attendees at the upcoming NEXT Conference and Exposition in Charlotte are invited to join ACAPT representatives for an open forum about the clinical education visioning process 8:00 am–10:00 am on Friday, June 13, in Convention Center Room 207 AB.
    • Members are encouraged to participate in a series of webinars beginning June 19. The webinars will focus on key issues presented in the JOPTE position papers and will provide more opportunities for input. Details on webinar dates and times can be found online. The webinars will be open to anyone who wants to participate, and will not require registrations or reservations. Information on how to access to the webinars will be shared soon.

    The offerings over the summer will inform the creation of a shared vision at the Clinical Education Summit planned for October 12–13 in Kansas City, Missouri. Organizers will use the positions from the JOPTE papers as they have been shaped through discussions to reach agreement on best practices. Participants at the summit will include 2 representatives from each ACAPT institution, members of APTA leadership, and stakeholders both within and outside of the physical therapy profession. The meeting immediately follows the 2014 Educational Leadership Conference.

    What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: Get the Latest From APTA on Fraud, Abuse, and Waste

    Avoiding risk is easier when you understand what the dangers are, and where they exist. A new resource from APTA helps physical therapists (PTs) do just that by taking a careful look at fraud, abuse, and waste.

    Preventing Fraud, Abuse, and Waste: A Primer for Physical Therapists (.pdf) is a free guide that examines not only the laws around these issues but the ways in which a physical therapist's (PT) relationships with payers, referral sources, and patients can set the stage for potential problems. The 20-page booklet is written in an easy-to-read style and includes many real world examples of the ways in which PTs can intentionally or unintentionally cross the line, as well as information on how to comply with the relevant laws and regulations and avoid risk.

    The primer is part of APTA's Integrity in Practice campaign, an initiative that supports physical therapy's high practice standards. The campaign helps PTs understand regulations and payment systems, and puts them in touch with tools and resources that promote evidence-based practice; ethics; professionalism; prevention of fraud, abuse, and waste; and more.

    $70 Million Falls Prevention Study Launched

    A $30 million, 5-year project will use large-scale clinical trials to create a "cohesive intervention" for falls reduction. The project, announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), will study over 6,000 adults 75 and older in 10 trial sites across the country.

    The study is being led by researchers from the Yale, Harvard, and University of California – Los Angeles medical schools, and will include more than 100 researchers. First-year funding of $7.6 million was awarded on June 1 from the NIH/PCORI Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership.

    "Previous studies have analyzed risk factors for falls and fall injuries, along with interventions to prevent them," according to a news release from NIH. "But the best evidence about how to reduce falls has not been broadly applied."

    The first year of the study is a pilot phase in which researchers will assess elements of the proposed intervention with smaller numbers of participants. After the first year (and pending approval by NIH and PCORI), the full trial will begin and last for 18 months. Participants will be followed for up to 3 years.

    "The trial will focus on clinical practice redesign, while also using interventions tailored to individuals," said Shalander Bhasin, MD, 1 of the 3 leaders of the study. "The goal is to recognize and overcome challenges in implementing falls injury prevention strategies in diverse health systems." The selected clinical sites are included in the news release.

    Falls prevention has been a major focus of APTA resources, with the association providing education on exercise prescriptions for balance improvement and falls prevention, and offering other information for physical therapists, such as how to develop consumer events on balance, falls, and exerciseevidence-based falls programs, and a PTNow clinical practice summary on falls risk in community dwelling elders. Members can also access an APTA pocket guide on falls risk reduction (.pdf) as well as take part in an online community where members can share information about falls prevention.

    International Physical Therapy Congress Gearing Up for 2015 Event

    It may be almost a year away, but now's the time to start preparing for the next World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress, May 2015 in Singapore.

    The Congress will be held May 1–4 at the at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore's central business district, about 20 minutes from Changi International Airport. Registration opens in July, but fees have been posted on the congress website, with early registration discounts offered until October 2.

    WCPT has also opened its call for abstracts for the congress, with an October 31 submission deadline. In addition, the confederation offers a mentoring program for anyone with little or no experience in submitting an abstract for a scientific congress.

    The WCPT Congress is the world's largest international physical therapy gathering. APTA is a member of WCPT.