Ideas are often thought of as "Eureka!" moments but Steven Johnson describes a "network" of ideas that are resident within a group of like minded-individuals that "fade into view" over time until the value of the idea becomes evident to everyone paying attention. This "bubbling up" process is described as innovation but the innovative process depends on the network, not just the brilliance or the insight of one person.
One innovative approach to health that is becoming more and more obvious is the wellness approach to population health. Population health will be important to anyone trying to understand what the future of outpatient physical therapy practice will look like.
Engaging Populations Through Total Health Management from Healthways, Inc. describes some of the biggest cost drivers in treating chronic conditions, like painful musculoskeletal conditions. These drivers are patient self-reported measures like...
- "Am I thriving in my current situation?"
- "Am I struggling in my life to just get by?"
- "Am I suffering in my life?"
If physical therapists could identify "sufferers" early in the course of rehabilitation perhaps we could help direct appropriate care to alleviate their suffering.
Physical therapists are currently challenged to remain relevant in the changing US healthcare system and understanding how to impact population health seems important for our future.