• Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    House Adopts Position on PT Responsibility and Accountability

    After many hours of thoughtful discussion and debate, APTA's House of Delegates (House) last week amended the position Physical Therapist Responsibility and Accountability for the Delivery of Care that was first adopted at the 2011 House. The position confirms that physical therapy is provided by, or under the direction and supervision of, a physical therapist (PT). Evaluation remains the complete responsibility of the PT. 

    In its deliberations, the House cited the ways that APTA's Vision 2020 and Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy support the position. However, the House noted that current APTA positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures may be in conflict with the new position as some of them stipulate the use of specific personnel (ie physical therapist assistants and aides) rather than recognize the responsibility and accountability that accompany the independent judgment of contemporary physical therapist practice, which characterizes the autonomous professional. Thus, the position will take effect upon the implementation of necessary initiatives in education, practice, payment, regulation, and research, and adoption of requisite APTA positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures.  

    In discussing this issue, the House also commented on the need for PTs to respond to changes resulting from health care reform, including new models of care that might provide opportunities for PT leadership. Accordingly, APTA will explore practice models that are responsive to the needs of society and adaptable to the changing health care environment. Steps toward the adoption of any new practice models will include:

    • determination of changes needed, including scope and feasibility;
    •  timing and resources required to adopt any and all new models;
    • amendment of requisite APTA positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures;
    • an interim report to the 2013 House and a final report no later than the 2014 House; and
    • approval of any model(s) by the House. [RC-2] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    Motions Reflect Significance of Governance Structure, Review Process

    Three motions adopted by the House of Delegates (House) illustrate the continued focus on improvements to APTA's governance and the importance of clarity in the roles of the House and Board of Directors (Board).

    The House passed a motion calling upon the Board to amend APTA's Articles of Incorporation (Articles) prior to the 2013 House of Delegates so that the Articles reflect the Board's duty to manage APTA in compliance with the bylaws of the association. [RC-17] 

    The House also rescinded Principles of Governance (HOD P06-11-17-08), which the House passed last year and requested that the reports and recommendations of the Governance Review Task Force be made available on APTA's website. [RC-15] [RC-30] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    APTA to Explore Feasibility of Transitioning PTA Education to Bachelor Degree Level

    To examine how the physical therapist assistant (PTA) can best support the physical therapist in the current and future health care environment, APTA will collaborate with appropriate stakeholders to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether or not transitioning the entry-level degree for the PTA to a bachelor's degree is indicated. In accordance with the motion adopted by the House of Delegates, the study will identify the following:

    • additional/expanded content to be addressed in a 4-year curriculum;
    • baccalaureate-level educational models for the entry-level PTA that include a description of the required and elective discipline-specific and liberal arts components of the curriculum;
    • a mechanism for PTA programs housed in 2-year institutions to award a baccalaureate PTA degree;
    • educational models for PTAs with associate degrees to transition to a bachelor's degree; and
    • possible practice act language modifications that could be required as a result of the transition.  

    A report on the study will be submitted to the 2014 House, with an interim report to the 2013 House. [RC-20] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    APTA to Develop Expert/Factual Witness Resources

    The House of Delegates passed a motion calling for APTA to identify and make available resource materials for physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapist/physical therapist assistant students serving in the role of an expert or factual witness. Resources may include information on ethical obligations relative to acting as an expert or factual witness, references to existing APTA resources, and other materials such as the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct that can assist in providing general information on this topic. [RC-22] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    Social Media Standards of Conduct Adopted

    The use of social media by physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students for professional, work, educational, and personal purposes creates opportunities to communicate in a public forum, and with that the potential for conflicts in patient/client management, APTA's House of Delegates said last week in adopting the new position Standards of Conduct in the Use of Social Media. To use social media productively and avoid these conflicts, the new position calls on PTs, PTAs, and students who engage in social media activities to demonstrate appropriate conduct in accordance with the Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant. The standards also call for PTs, PTAs, and students who identify content that appears to be unprofessional to alert the colleague who posted it so that he or she can remove it or take other appropriate actions. Furthermore, the new position requires that PTs, PTAs, and students not misrepresent themselves, APTA or other organizations, educational institutions, clinical sites, or employers on social media. [RC-23] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    House Actions Geared Toward Early-career Individuals

    An action taken by the House of Delegates (House) aims to promote the engagement of early-career individuals in the association and in their career development by encouraging components to create an early-career liaison position to their boards of directors and initiate other mechanisms to reach these 2 goals—including inclusion of early-career individuals on committees and special interest groups, nominations of these individuals to positions and organizations, promotion of events aimed at students and early-career individuals, and a formal mentoring process within the component. [RC-24] 

    The House adopted a related statement of action that encourages physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to use best practices for mentoring for early-career PTs and PTAs. [RC-21]  

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    APTA to Expand Access to Hooked on Evidence to Nonmembers

    The House of Delegates passed a resolution calling for complimentary "read only" access to Hooked on Evidence for all health care practitioners and health care students world-wide in an effort to advance evidence-based practice by all physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

    In adopting Access to Hooked on Evidence, the House cited language in APTA's Vision 2020 that supports the use of evidence-based practice by all physical therapists. [RC-25] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    APTA to Develop Additional Resources for PTs in EDs

    Physical therapists (PTs) play a unique role in the emergency department (ED) setting, particularly given that 25%-28% of visits to EDs involve musculoskeletal conditions. Furthermore, early physical therapy in the recovery process has been shown to result in fewer days of missed work and shorter overall case duration in patients and clients with acute low back injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries.

    While physical therapy practice is growing in EDs, it is still not recognized even among many PTs. Therefore, a House action calls for APTA to develop materials to support the role of PTs in EDs. Materials may include resources to help PTs assess readiness for practice in this setting, negotiate the value of the role of physical therapy in the ED, and promote PT professional services in the emergency care environment.

    The new materials will augment current resources available to APTA members that include an Emergency Department Toolkit and a podcast series on PTs in EDs. [RC-26]

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    Position Affirms PTs as Expert Providers for Exercise and Physical Activity

    Quoting national and international statistics on coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, COPD, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and obesity, showing that these diseases are epidemic in their incidence, the House of Delegates adopted Physical Therapists as Expert Providers for Exercise and Physical Activity—recognizing physical therapists as health service delivery providers of choice to prevent or treat these noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and their related risk factors.

    The position holds that APTA seeks participation in the development and/or update of physical activity or exercise guidelines for these NCDs. [RC-27] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    Aspiring to High Standards: Recognition of Physical Therapy Centers of Clinical Excellence

    While there are many resources that define entry-level and minimum standards, a doctoring profession should have standards of excellence that reflect exceptional practice. To that end, the House passed a motion calling for a study of the feasibility of developing mechanisms to recognize centers of clinical excellence. An interim report will be provided to the 2013 House with a final report to the 2014 House. The final report will include costs, interests, and the effect on the profession and the public of developing these mechanisms. [RC-28] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    Position Defines Role of PT in Safe Handling

    A new position adopted by the House of Delegates calls for physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to be involved with and leaders of safe patient handling programs at the local, state, and federal levels, and to lead by example—appropriately supporting and employing the concepts of safe patient handling during patient care. 

    The Role of Physical Therapy in Safe Patient Handling also endorses several concepts related to access to safe patient handling equipment and departmental policies and training in safe patient handling procedures. [RC-29] 

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    House Amends Positions on Diagnosis, Concussion, Education Requirements

    Last week the House of Delegates amended the following positions: 

    • Diagnosis by Physical Therapists (HOD P06-08-06-07) 
    • The new language clarifies the physical therapist's (PT) role in ordering appropriate tests and studies that are performed and interpreted by other health care providers, and the PT's role in performing and interpreting selected images or other studies. [RC-13] 
    • The Physical Therapist's Role in Management of the Person With Concussion (HOD P06-11-15-18)
    • The amended position delineates the physical therapist's role as part of the multidisciplinary team of health care providers who provide concussion management and in identifying when it is safe for persons with concussion to return to activity. [RC-14]  
    • Educational Degree Qualification for Physical Therapists (HOD P06-03-22-18)
    • The position now states that effective January 1, 2018, APTA will consider the attainment of a doctor of physical therapy degree as the minimum professional education qualification for physical therapists who graduate from a program accredited by CAPTE in 2018 or after. [RC-18]

    Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.  


    Friday, June 15, 2012RSS Feed

    Visioning Session Focuses on Design Images of Physical Therapy

    Last week, APTA's House of Delegates (House) participated in a visioning session as part of the process to revise the association's Vision Sentence for Physical Therapy 2020 and Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020. Stemming from a 2011 House motion, the objective is to look beyond 2020 and clearly articulate the profession's commitment to society.

    During the session, the House discussed 9 design principles or "images" of physical therapy ranging from the physical therapist's role in human movement and performance, evidence-based practice, and innovative contributions of the profession to meeting the diverse needs of society and developing and applying new technologies. 

    In April, the Board of Directors took part in a similar visioning session. As part of the process to revise the vision, APTA is conducting focus groups with members, interviews with thought leaders, and an environmental scan survey. Later this year the Vision Task Force will submit a draft of the new vision to the Board for its review. The new vision will go to the 2013 House for its consideration.


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