Why It Takes an Entrepreneur


Our profession needs entrepreneurs to take the risk to innovatively facilitate change and improve the delivery of physical therapy.

Innovation can be completely stifled by the need for more data, more objective measures, and more research. More proof an idea will work. Somewhere, somehow, someone needs to look at and evaluate a problem and not wait for the research or numerous studies but follow a passion toward innovation and make change happen. Demonstrate it works. Take a risk on an idea without having 20 people sign off and analyze the idea to death. It takes entrepreneurs to believe and follow a passion with energy unmatched by any corporation or big business.

Entrepreneurs are capable of assessing a problem from all practical angles with a hunger for coming up with a solution. Knowing when things are clearly not working and refusing to sit idly by while waiting for more research results. Entrepreneurs will not wait, but instead will look at the problem and creatively, intuitively, and passionately develop and implement a solution to the problem.

Big organizations can be set in the status quo, doing things the way they have always been done. Following policies, procedures, rules, and protocols can limit the ability to think, look, and act outside the box. Stockpiling mounds of evidence will not solve a problem if action is not taken, if something is not done.

Our profession is actively seeking more research and more data to prove our validity. More outcome measures to “demonstrate” that physical therapy is in fact effective. What I am proposing is developing programs and delivery of physical therapy care where patients, families, and society at large clearly feel, experience, and know on a personal level that physical therapy is valuable. Their experiences will inspire them to choose physical therapy.

I’m not saying that we should not conduct high-quality research and integrate the evidence into our clinical practices. What I am saying is problems need to be solved, ideas have to start somewhere, and someone needs to have the passion and take the risk to try them. Research and data alone will not solve problems. What is needed is action and implementation.

Entrepreneurs are needed to facilitate change and make a profound difference in patients’ lives, the delivery of health care, and society at large.

Patrice Hazan PT, DPT, GCS, MA

Dr. Patrice Hazan, PT, DPT, GCS, MA is the founder and chief executive officer of GroupHab in Simpsonville, South Carolina. She is a Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist and a member of the Academy of Geriatrics with the American Physical Therapy Association.

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