The Best Medicine
I've just returned from the Physiotherapy 2013 conference in Birmingham, England. I never thought I would say this, but it's probably the best thing I've done for my career in the past decade. The speakers were inspirational. One of the main themes was combining physiotherapy and public health. There's a real focus in the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) on the role of physios in prevention. The CSP is also openly embracing change and innovation in ways of practicing. All in all, it's an exciting time to be a physio in the UK. A little excitement about my career is exactly what I needed!
I'm not ashamed to say, despite my years of ranting against tele-physio as being ineffective and perhaps dangerous, I've changed my mind. A speaker from one of the UK's largest private insurers gave an excellent discussion on proving value for money of physio services. They utilize tele-physio as a way of triaging patients into three different pathways.
The patients who present initially as lowest risk for complication or poor outcomes are given advice and education and then are called back for follow up after two days. If the symptoms haven't resolved or have gotten worse, they then get a face-to-face assessment. He demonstrated how this process has improved access and reduced expense on referrals to specialists and overall spending on treatment with excellent outcomes. Just goes to show that it's best to have an open mind when it comes to healthcare!
I also want to become more involved. I'm going to seek out committees needing assistance. I've made a few contacts this weekend and have sent out follow-up emails. I'm very hopeful for the future and that is priceless.