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Posts Tagged ‘physicaltherapy’

Branding & Brand Loyalty

How does self image tie to brand loyalty?  Can we tie that to PT?

So I’ve started reading for fun again, finally.  I enjoy reading about incentives and decision making. The human capacity to fool itself amazes me.    My first brain-toy is this:  You Are Not So Smart.  It started as a blog written by @davidmcraney.  He’s a journalist who writes about things that are fun and interesting.  I recommend checking out the blog or book!  

One chapter in his book stood out as relevant to some of the #SolvePT discussions. Craney pointed out that brand loyalty is created from buying (or buying into) unessential things – iPads or your favorite brand of smart phone. To oversimplify his point, spending a lot on something you don’t need forces you to create a narrative in your mind about why you made the best decision for you.  A higher cost means a stronger internal justification.  It sounds to me like the effect lies somewhere between cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.  Your unconscious interests in justifying your decisions tie directly to your own self image.  You are forced, after making the decision, to create a narrative supporting the decision. And ownership reinforces the emotional connection to “stuff.”

Can physical therapy be stuff? Should it be?  Probably NOT.  I feel like the fact that we do not create the same brand loyalty to PT is a testament to our USEFULNESS.  Not to say that an iPad can’t be useful,  but when you need physical therapy you definitely NEED physical therapy.  You never really NEED a new tablet. I am probably reaching here, but the idea of entitlement to PT via health insurance, and a client/patient’s reluctance to pay for PT out of pocket definitely hurts our cause.  You lose the benefit of cognitive dissonance.  I am paying for PT, so I must value it!  

What’s weird to me is the attachment people have to their chiropracters.  Does that the kind of brand loyalty Craney describes insinuates an unthinking devaluation of chiropractic care?  Craney also points out that for brand loyalty to occur, you must have OPTIONS, or a decision to make.  Reducing the # of options reduces buyer’s remorse.  People LOVE their chiropracters and accupuncturists, and pay out of pocket for other services because they KNOW they have a choice!  The public is aware that they can go to a chiropracter first.  


Lets see if I can tie this together to make my point.  I am NOT saying we need to create a preception that people don’t need us so that they have to justify going to see a physical therapist.  I’m saying we need to increase AWARENESS that we are a CHOICE, not just a place patients go because the workman’s comp physician sent them to us. We need to give patients/clients/the public the opportunity to make [the right] decision about PT to allow self-image-affirmation to take over.  I think, too, that building a client/patient a reason to be more comfortable paying out of pocket will strengthen this bond.  Is this even possible???

Is anybody having success trying to create a self-paying base of patients/clients?

Marketable Skill Sets…

What I have managed to do: Take a page that has 350+ check boxes to quantify mobility assessment and rebuild it from the ground up in PAXscript into 5 functional-punch-in-the-numbers outcomes measures, AND 2 smart grids that step you through documenting the transfer if you were writing it out by hand (and faster, to boot). I’ve managed to build this on an iPad friendly screen. And for good measure, I’m programming a box to display a “narrative” of the documented findings so you don’t have to do it yourself after you enter your data. BOOM. Marketable skill set.

My next project is gait analysis.

PT Complaint:   Unusable software.

Objective Findings:

Treatment:

More scripts.  Databases, Fields, and Subtables created.  Scripts written around those tables.
Behold: I call it Mobility Redux!  The auto-narrative isn’t finished yet, but it will be.  Happy to give anyone using PTAdvantage.  I don’t THINK that it is proprietary.  Would love ideas for the layout – as I am aesthetically-impaired.

Plan:  Finish narrative code, build gait analysis form.  

Readings and Musings 8/6/12

Who’s driving this thing?!

I get most of my news from twitter and google reader.  I LOVE taking in information from all over and trying to synthesize it into one coherent thought.  I’ve decided to start gathering these readings, tweeters, and resources on a more regular basis and share with you the things I thought were interesting.  Many will have to do with physical therapy.  Some will definitely not!  You’ve been warned.  Without further adieu, my first ever “Readings and Musings.”   Love to hear your thoughts (if I haven’t already).

Appledorn et al. 2012. A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness of a Classification-Based System for Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain  Current treatment based classification schemes do not improve outcomes in patients with subacute or chronic low back pain.

An Essay for Physical Therapists: Lets Move Forward…  An inspiration to move forward, and some issues that are very relevent to physical therapy right now.  There are some great discussion points about manual therapy, and the abuse of modalities.  Comments at the end of the article are worth reading too!

Mannion 2001.  Increase in strength after active therapy in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients: muscular adaptations and clinical relevance.  Three treatment groups, 1 outcome.  Strength changes through training for chronic low back pain did not appear improve outcomes.

One Word that Defines a Great Brand  Jeff Haden from Inc.com interviews Julia Allison about personal branding.  The interview and picture Julia paints of “personal branding” is organic.  You sell WHO you are, not just what you do.  It’s about representing yourself through your values and connecting with clients.  As physical therapists, we seldom ask a patient “may I help you?”  We ask about their kids, grand kids, their dogs, grades at school, favorite sports teams, or the last book they read.  This article couldn’t be more relevant to PT. 
Natural Cures?  “What medications are you taking?”  “I don’t take any medications.”  We might consider asking about supplements in addition, as I suspect (and I don’t have a lot of evidence for this that isn’t anecdotal, sorry) many patients don’t consider the gingko they are taking to help their memory might also impact their balance (dizziness is a known side effect).  AMA strategies for health literacy.
Build Systems Not Overhead  Rhetorical talk about reducing overhead while improving quality.  Just some food for thought, I guess.
The Right Tools for Negotiating Your Salary – Part One: Your Value.   Part of a 3 part (so far?) blog roll about how to negotiate salaries if you’re a new PT.  Interesting stat of the evening: this year, 12,738 new PT/PTAs will hit the streets looking for jobs. And we alllll want MONEY MONEY MONEY!  
Homework for the week:  Confirmation Bias and Hindsight Bias
People to follow:   @JayS_Tan, @MerylKevans, @Jerry_DurhamPT (unless you’re a Giants fan). 

PUBLISHED!

We are officially being published in Clinical Biomechanics for our graduate research.  This is great news!  Adding it to my CV.

Article title: Altered Muscle Recruitment During Extension from Trunk Flexion in Low Back Pain Developers
Reference: *********
Journal title: Clinical Biomechanics
Corresponding author: Dr. Erika Nelson-Wong
First author: Dr. Erika Nelson-Wong

Dear Dr. Nelson-Wong,

Please find attached a copy of the “Journal Publishing Agreement” which you completed online on 25-JUL-2012.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. To help us assist you, please quote our reference ******** in all correspondence.

We are committed to publishing your article as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely,
Elsevier Author Support

Inter-professional pissing contest.

First and last time I’ll ever engage in this conversation (I hope).


My friend @RGWooderson, sent me a link to a post by a physical therapist who has been in the profession a long time, and done a lot of cool stuff. You can read his CV on his website. He has been the CRO: Chief Revolutionary Officer since 2011 for a company he started – The Smart Life Project. Thank you Allen, for your insight into damned future of our profession. But who are you mad at? All I did was start applying to PT schools in 2008/2009.


You can read his post here: Was the DPT The Right Direction?


Here’s the problem I have with it, more than anything. We’re, as a profession, trying to elevate ourselves in the public’s eyes and through legislation. Blog posts like his only hurt our profession. While he is spending an evening trying to start an interprofessional pissing contest (which I’m sure won’t interest people in his “institute”), others among us will be working together to move forward.


Thomas Kuhn wrote a great book int he 60’s and coined the term paradigm shift, discussing the history of science and how exactly competing ideologies came about, and came to die in the face of new world views. He quoted Max Plank (long story) in the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, saying “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”


The conversation over the presence of DPT in the profession ended a while ago (whenever, I don’t know). Taking time away to engage people who have already made up their mind about a topic isn’t going to do anything but stir the professional pot, if you will. He’s an old guy. He’s treated 10,000 patients! He, and the rest like him, will be out of the profession and dead before I can even afford to retire.


Have a great week.


-d