Follow the Leader

As physical therapy practice owners, we have the responsibility to help the next generation of therapists achieve success. This requires a learning process for us.

By Phyllis Levine, PT, DPT

The owner of a physical therapy practice is typically responsible for the management of the practice but this does not make them a leader. A manager is someone who is process driven while a leader inspires, energizes, and motivates. Many of us are probably content just managing; however, those who wish to lead need to be trained. We, as physical therapists, are educated to serve our clients. If we have the privilege to be in a leadership role, I feel we should aspire to be servant leaders and be educated in this process. Most experts in leadership believe that leaders are made, not born. Only a recognized leader who can “walk the talk” can develop other leaders. This has two obvious implications for those of us in a position to positively lead staff in our physical therapy practices. First, we must fervently strive to improve our leadership skills by modeling ourselves after those who excel in leading and then by becoming a role model for our staff. Second, we must recognize the incredible responsibility we have to lead the next generation of physical therapists in the ethical and moral development of clinical and professional skills. To accomplish this we must know what specific needs exist in our staff that require further development. Performance appraisals should be utilized to identify those needs. We, as the team leader, have a responsibility to lead them to a higher level. Our physical therapy curriculum gives us little education in this topic. Fortunately, the business literature has many examples of good, even great, leadership and the development process required.

Technology and Burnout

By Ingrid Sparrow, PT

Owning a physical therapy clinic can be like walking on lily pads. Each day you work to maintain that delicate balance of patient and employee needs with those of the business so you do not fall into the pond. Another balance we work to maintain is our resilience and empathy while avoiding compassion fatigue and burnout.

While burnout and compassion fatigue are related, compassion fatigue is often described as the “cost of caring” for others.1 It occurs more often in inexperienced professionals who may not yet have developed the same coping mechanisms as more seasoned coworkers.2 Burnout occurs more broadly across the work setting and work experience spectrum, and is often defined as “a mixture of professional exhaustion, and disillusionment with other people, the organization, or the career, over the long term.”3 Both are characterized by fatigue, increased cynicism, and lack of enjoyment at work.

Administrative Simplification Urgently Needed

By Jim Hall, CPA, and Mary Daulong, PT, CHC, CHP

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), enacted in 1996, is primarily known for its Privacy and Security Rules but these rules, while paramount, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Public Law 104-191 (HIPAA) amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets; to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery; to promote the use of medical savings accounts; to improve access to long-term care services and coverage; to simplify the administration of health insurance, and for other purposes.

Burnout and Character

Therapist burnout is real. You can address burnout with some simple steps.

By Jerry L. Henderson, PT*

When you hear someone say they are burned out, what comes to your mind? I admit that (in my less than empathetic moments) I think, “Oh, come on! You can do this! Get back to work!” My first impulse is to discount the other person’s complaint of burnout, because on one level, my instinct is to assume that “burnout” is just a euphemism for laziness or a lack of character.

But, on reflection, I can think back on times in my life when I have been burned out. When I’ve felt like I just couldn’t do another day, fighting the same battles with little apparent progress. Futility leading to lethargy leading to a lack of a sense of purpose.

Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take 5 Minutes or Less

A guide to the often confusing payer contracting provisions.

By Steve “S.J.” Scott | Reviewed by Connie Ziccarelli, COO

Like many of you, I find it hard to consistently sustain new habits, whether they are habits for personal growth or for professional growth. I know that if a new behavior is desired, then the adoption of new habits is required. However, the thought of the time needed to create new habits is daunting and exhausting to even think about.

Then I came across a book that takes the time commitment out of the equation. This book teaches how to take the stress out of building new and lasting solutions through a concept called Habit Stacking. I find this concept to be revolutionary. Throughout this book, Steve “S.J.” Scott gives ideas for simple routines that take a few minutes each day to complete. By compounding these small changes daily, you are building a routine that can be followed consistently. Developing positive routines creates consistent behaviors. Reading this book gave me an “ah ha” moment and provided me with commonsense tips that are doable. The book discusses the elements of a habit-stacking routine and gives suggestions for small changes through chapters dedicated to the following areas: Productivity, Relationships, Finances, Organization, Spirituality and Mental Well-Being, Health and Physical Fitness, and Leisure.

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