WebPT Blog - PranaPT
Sep 24, 2012| by Ann Wendel
In keeping with this month’s theme of marketing physical therapy as a profession, I wanted to share the three things that I believe lead to success with any endeavor. There are many different ways to market, but if you want your campaign to have impact, you need to connect, inspire, and assist.
Let’s consider the first principle: connect. Before people will listen to what you have to say, you must connect and build a relationship. These days, the Internet (and social media in particular) makes it easier than ever to reach people with your message. However, the key to success isn’t what you say, but how you say it. Messages and advertisements bombard us all day, every day. In order to survive, we have learned to tune out much of this noise.
So how do we cut through the noise to reach our audience? When we have the goal of marketing a profession, business, or product, we must command the attention of the audience we want to reach, and the best way to do this is by building relationships with our target audience. The most successful campaigns are launched through conversations. Social media is a very effective way to connect and build relationships; yet, many people forget this step and go right to direct marketing. However, if you only use social media to push your products or services, most people will tune you out. There has to be a balance.Ann Wendel, assist, connect, inspire, marketing, physical therapy, PranaPT, simon sinek, start with why
May 17, 2012| by Ann Wendel
I wanted to take a moment to make everyone aware of some great interactions that are happening on Twitter, where healthcare providers are discussing issues pertinent to the current and future state of care. (If you aren’t on Twitter, go register right now!) The Twitterverse is full of extremely bright, passionate people sharing ideas and research.
Recently a new hashtag was born on Twitter as the result of many of us trying to keep track of our discussions about practice issues in physical therapy. The tag is #solvept. A TweetChat (organized discussion) happens on Twitter during #solvePT Tuesdays from 9-10 pm EST; however, anyone can post a thought or question at any time using the #solvept, and engage with other users who may be interested in the discussion. This link introduces the idea and an overview of the tweets is provided after the chat for those who may want to re-visit the topic.
Recent topics on #solvept Tuesday evenings have included Continuing Education, Productivity, and Direct Access. Join in to discuss ways that we can all become change agents to improve the profession that we love. Every one of us matters when it comes to educating the public, influencing our national and state associations, and generating support for change at a legislative level.
The second hashtag I want to mention is one that I co-host with Dr. David Geier. Dr. Geier is an orthopaedic surgeon and the Director of MUSC Sports Medicine. He is the Head Team Physician for the Charleston Battery soccer team and Chief Tournament Physician for the Family Circle Cup women’s professional tennis tournament. He has served as orthopaedic consultant for professional and elite sports teams, including the United States Women’s Soccer team and the Eagles USA Rugby National team. He also serves as the head team physician for many area high schools and is the head physician for many recreational sports teams and leagues.
We host #socialortho on the first Wednesday of each month from 9-10pm EST. We usually get a great mix of physical therapists, ATC’s and MD’s (as well as an occasional patient) to discuss topics such as social media in healthcare, practice issues, clinical topics, and patient/provider relationship issues. I would personally love to get more patients interacting, as it is always interesting to get feedback on these issues from their perspective. Transcripts are provided after the chat for those who missed the live discussion or simply want to read through again.
There are many, many Healthcare-related TweetChats that occur weekly or monthly. This Healthcare TweetChat calendar highlights the ones that registered on this site: http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/tweet-chats/
I look forward to seeing you around the Twitterverse for continued conversation!
Apr 26, 2012| by Ann Wendel
Anyone who is active in social media in the field of physical therapy knows that these are exciting times. PT’s are interacting in the public forum about practice issues affecting the current and future state of the profession. As more PT’s begin blogging, Tweeting, and connecting on LinkedIn groups, increasing opportunities exist to explore the role of communication. Last month I became intrigued with the idea of taking one research study and having two therapists with different communication preferences write about it. I asked Jason Silvernail, DPT, DSc if he would be up for partnering with me on this experiment.
Here is a link to a study that looked at techniques for evaluating the SIJ. Then, here is a Letter to the Editor written by Jason and Kyle Ridgeway, DPT. Their letter was written to describe their thoughts regarding the research and its applicability to clinical practice. It was written in language that would be understood by other physical therapists and healthcare providers. Finally, we will post my review of the study, written as I would word it for my blog, which is read by other therapists, but also the general public who is looking for more information regarding back pain. The “spirit” of this endeavor was to show how two therapists reading the same study would write about their thoughts, in words appropriate for their audience. This is important, because patients search the internet for information about their pain and possible treatments and part of our mission as PT’s is to educate the public.direct access, jason silvernail, kyle ridgeway, physical therapy community, PranaPT, social media, solvept
Mar 13, 2012| by Ann Wendel
Today’s post covers a topic that has been on my mind a lot inthe past month. Turf wars. Ugh, I just gave a little shudder eventhinking about it!
The turf wars I’m referring to are the escalating interactions involving bickering among healthcare providers. Anyone who is active in social media knows what I’m talking about. In the age of the Internet, everyone is an expert, everyone has an opinion, and most people are bravely ready to let the world know just how smart they are (and how stupid everyone else is). Turf wars are not a new phenomenon. I have been in this field for 20 years now, and even in 1992 when I started my first job as an ATC, there were turf wars in the clinic. Even then, everyone was fighting for their piece of the pie.
The difference is that back in 1992, when you had an opinion, the only folks who had to hear about it were your friends and family. Maybe if you were really passionate about something, you would write a letter to the editor of a publication and wait a month to see it in print (I have a vivid memory of writing a letter to an editor in 1994 on the very topic of turf wars!)
Today, if you disagree with something, you can fire off your opinion in the comments section of a blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, or on all three simultaneously! Statements made in the heat of the moment, often without full understanding of what is being said, are posted for the world to see. Forever. If you made a nasty comment in the heat of the moment, you have to live with it floating around the web for the rest of your career.
Feb 15, 2012| by Lindsay Bayuk
WebPT has asked me to share my personal top 5 physical therapy resources in social media. This is by no means an extensive list; it is simply a list of the folks I check in with on a daily basis to share research, hash out practice issues, address topics of interest, and generally stay on top of what’s new in our profession. Enjoy checking these folks out, and feel free to add suggestions!
On Twitter, Founder of EIM, Larry Benz provides a “knowledge exchange studio” that provides CE, Post Professional Certifications, Executive Program/DPT, Musculoskeletal Transitional DPT, Residencies and Fellowships, and a blog which covers topics relevant to PTs. EIM is comprised of leaders in education, research and business practice.
Erson is a P.T. in private practice in N.Y. State, as well as part time faculty at Daemen College and adjunct faculty at D’Youville College. He is also a mentor for Daemen College, McKenzie Institute, and the Evidence in Motion Fellowships in OMPT. He maintains a blog and is the creator of The Edge, an affordable tool for instrument assisted manual therapy.
Mike is a clinician, researcher and educator; additionally, he is the Head PT for The Boston Red Sox. His website contains journal articles, clinical pearls, book and product reviews, and links to his own products, which include videos and continuing education resources.PranaPT, Social Media Best Practices for Physical Therapists, social media for physical therapy, social media resources for physical therapists
Jan 17, 2012| by Ann Wendel
As with starting any business, there’s bound to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tell us about a time that was “bad/ugly” and what you learned from it.
You have to really believe in yourself and you can’t give up. This felt like the most reckless thing my husband and I have ever done! I left a job making a comfortable salary and went right out on my own – there was no easing into it this time. So, I started and the schedule was completely blank. With two kids, it’s really difficult to save up the recommended 6 months of expenses. We had to just keep going past the initial “What are we going to do?” The good news is that as a P.T., you’re always going to find a job. Always having options is good. The huge demand for PTs is not true of all industries, especially in today’s job market.
If you could go back and do one thing differently what would it be?
There were a lot of things I could have changed. I learned from all of it though; so, in the end I wouldn’t change anything. I try to make the best decision I can at the time and run with it. Each thing, good or bad, added to my knowledge base. At the time, each thing seemed like the right thing. Over time, I’ve become a little more sure of myself. There’s no way to not be naive when you’re young. You just need to have a sense of humor.
Jan 17, 2012| by Ann Wendel
Tell us a little bit about you and your practice.
I graduated from University of Delaware in 1992 with a BS in P.E. Studies, concentration in Athletic Training. My goal was to work in sports medicine. I worked as an ATC in a sports medicine clinic for 3 years while taking more pre-requisites, then applied and was accepted to University of Maryland’s Physical Therapy Program. I graduated with with my Masters in 1998. I started working in a hospital right after graduation. They rarely hired new graduates to work PRN; but, I had more experience because of my years as an Athletic Trainer, so I got the job. I worked in acute care, neuro, and outpatient ortho. From 2003 to 2006 I went out on my own and ran my private practice in space I sublet from a Pilates studio. My next step was to work for a larger Orthopedic practice. I worked there for 4 years until October 2011, when I went back to my own business, Prana Physical Therapy. I now work as an independent contractor for Core Wellness and Physical Therapy in a co-op building. We end up co-treating patients and being more collaborative. We do different but complimentary techniques.
Tell us something we wouldn’t know. This can be an interesting fact, a fun anecdote or even a more formal piece of information about starting a PT clinic.
For my current business, we don’t take insurance. We’re a cash-based clinic, and out of network providers. As I left to start my new business, I had some Medicare patients that wanted to follow me. What I learned through research is that if you don’t accept Medicare, you can’t treat Medicare patients. It’s illegal to accept cash payments from Medicare patients for physical therapy (see Section 40 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual from CMS). Medicare patients can only pay out of pocket when they see a P.T. for “Wellness” (i.e. general conditioning and not treatment). This is a little known fact that is devastating for a small practice (read Ann's blog post on the topic for more info). These are the folks that typically need care beyond what Medicare can pay, and they are not able to come see you. If you didn’t know about this and you got audited by Medicare you’d be in trouble. The way the code is written, the only practitioners who cannot opt-out of Medicare are P.T. and Chiropractic.Ann Wendel, best practices, how to start a pt clinic, physical therapy blog, Physical Therapy Clinic, PranaPT