Reflections from Australian Physiotherapy Association Symposium

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Recently I attended the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s (APA) 2014 Symposium ‘New Frontiers’. The focus of the three day Symposium was how physiotherapy practices can best serve their communities into the future specifically through until 2025.

Earlier this year the APA released a document ‘In Practice 2025’ to guide private physiotherapy practice owners on key criteria that will shape their practice’s future.  This document aimed to forecast how the ’Practice of the Future’ could continue to play an important role in the Australian healthcare system.

The document states that:

“The success of the Physiotherapy Practice of the Future will continue to be built upon the delivery of high quality clinical care and strong relationships with consumers and referrers”.

Specifically the document outlines six key features that the Practice of the Future would model. These six practice features are listed below.  I will also share my thoughts about how POGO will both embrace and model these key practice features as we move towards 2025.

·         Feature 1. A broader range of services: the APA shares the vision that the practice of the future will develop a focus on ‘wellness’ as opposed to the current and traditional private practice model of ‘injury diagnosis and treatment’.  POGO’s 3P Method places great importance on wellness with the second and third P’s Perform & Prolong ‘specifically addressing the individual who does not just wish to get out of pain. The second and third P’s assist the individual who wishes to return to performing at their best-whatever their ‘game’ or activity entails

At POGO we also recognise the value of not just performing but prolonging optimal physical health which is encapsulated by our ability to assist individuals prolong their health across their lifetime.  We have termed our approach and our developing range of associated services the 3rd P-Prolong. As we move into 2015 POGO will begin delivering packaged services which will aim to deliver improved clinical outcomes that promote wellness and optimal physical performance and longevity to our clients. This approach will be an industry first-stay tuned!

·         Feature 2. A consumer and outcome focus: The APA believes that the practice of the future will be more flexible and responsive to consumer needs. POGO has always placed a high value on being responsive and focussed on delivering the best clinical outcomes possible to our clients. We are highly committed to continual improvement in our ability to be responsive to client’s needs. In 2015 we look forward to introducing a unique and industry leading way for our clients to keep us updated on their progress and satisfaction with our service as they pass through their 3P journey.

·         Feature 3. Responsive to the needs of a changing workforce: The practice of the future will offer greater flexibility and complexity of working arrangements.  POGO has a keen interest in the development of our practitioners and staff. We are passionate about developing career pathways and opportunities which allow our practitioners to flourish.  To the consumer of our services greater longevity of staff brings with it many benefits such as improved continuity of care.

·         Feature 4. Equipped with Business Acumen: The practice of the future will have developed new capabilities in business management.  I believe that the greater the business acumen the greater strength and quality healthcare which can be delivered by a practice. Many would view the two as being mutually exclusive however you cannot have a practice delivering first class health care that cannot keep their doors open.

·         Feature 5. Connected with Technology: The practice of the future will embrace the digital age and the many efficiencies and opportunities to provide service provision in unique, scalable, and effective ways. POGO has a vision for the incorporation of telehealth services and online services leading into 2025 and beyond.

·         Feature 6. A partner in teaching, training, and research: The practice of the future will increasingly engaged in the development of the next generation of physiotherapists. At POGO we believe in both the clinical skills and non-clinical skills development of our therapists. In 2015 we launch the POGO Academy which is a 12 month program of personal development designed to grow our team members and ultimately improve their effectiveness in serving our clients and the health consumer.

In reviewing these six key features of the practice of the future it should not be forgotten that the bedrock principles that built POGO into the practice it is today will remain as bedrocks for our practice’s growth and success into the future. These two key principles are great clinical practice resulting in great clinical outcomes, and strong client focussed relationships.

Brad Beer (APAM)

POGO Founder and Director


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