By Kristen Wilson, PT, DPT
I’ve always considered myself drawn to the classics.
My favorite outfit is a pair of worn jeans and a great sweatshirt. I love a good burger with an ice-cold beer. My favorite movie is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” And there’s nothing more satisfying than a run outdoors in nature with excellent music in my headphones. I suppose it’s the comfort of familiarity that draws me to these traditions, or perhaps it’s because old habits are nearly impossible to break.
Yet, despite my affection toward the “same ‘ol,” 2020 offered a necessary departure from the norm for me personally and professionally. Facing the imminent possibility of layoffs, unpaid rent, inability to take an owner’s distribution, and an overdrawn line of credit, my team had to step outside our comfort zone to explore other innovative ways to deliver physical therapy care and remain relevant in our community so that, once the pandemic was behind us, we could resume business as usual. The levels of innovation I witnessed in both my own clinic and the physical therapy and non-PT small businesses around me were inspiring. Curbside pickup, free streaming workouts, drive-through services, virtual meet and greets—the list goes on. Innovation in 2020 was likely at an all-time high for our country, and probably the world, and its advancements perhaps are some of the tangible rewards left by COVID-19.
In the wake of such innovation, it is only natural to highlight some of the incredibly diverse and innovative practice models of our own profession in this month’s issue of Impact that not only led to survival, but success, during this past year. In “On-Demand Outpatient Care,” Alyssa Brandt from our Admin Network explores providing in-home outpatient services for those with limited access. Liz Plowman divulges her secrets for building an online microniche practice via telehealth in her piece titled “Leveraging Telehealth,” and Jason Wambold explains the benefits of entertaining “Alternative Compensation Models” in your practice. Last, be sure to check out Brian Gallagher’s piece on “Why Should You Become a PPS Member,” complete with supporting podcast, and forward it to a friend who you think should join our section. Innovation requires thoughts, and the more minds that collaborate, the richer our success as a profession will be!
So maybe you’re like me, comfortable with the familiar and slow to change. But knowing the grit it takes to be a private practice owner, I recognize that, with the right motivations, anything is possible. Innovation is the result of stimulus. An idea is born, then tended, and grown into something powerful. May this issue be that stimulus to foster your next big change. As one of my favorite classics, Audrey Hepburn, states, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” Embrace the possibilities of your future…just don’t forget to pack your jeans.