The current environment in health care is influenced by educated and connected consumers. Word of mouth is being eclipsed by online reviews. Headlines about insurance fraud, abuse, and waste (see #30reps) are also threats to the reputation of our profession. CPA’s advocacy work can be hampered by a few instances of poor judgment, lack of integrity, or insurance fraud. The bad behaviours of a few people can negatively impact all members.
Reputational risk may affect individual members directly:
Patients may choose a different clinic or a different profession for their health care needs
Potentialfor patient complaints to the regulator
Rejected insurance claims lead to increased member use of liability insurance to defend billing practices
Funding and access to physiotherapy may be reduced by government and health system administrators
Decreased job satisfaction and employee engagement
Stressof reporting colleagues for fraud or abuse
behaviour may affect the profession:
By limiting the effectiveness of advocacy efforts
By harming the positive reputation that physiotherapy currently enjoys
By potentially creating lower standards of care if there are no consequences for fraud, abuse, or waste
By negatively impacting collaboration with other health professions
Regulation, accreditation and licensing can all contribute to oversight of the profession. However; the clinicians themselves are accountable to their patients, their colleagues, and their profession. By enhancing awareness of reputational risk and how to mitigate it, each and every Physiotherapist (PT), Physical Rehabilitation Therapists (P.R.T.), and Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) can help to be a part of the solution.
How CPA can help
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association is committed to protecting the good reputation of the Physiotherapy profession. We are working hard to promote the profession and highlight areas where physiotherapy can help Canadians improve their health through movement and exercise.
As demand for physiotherapy increases, access becomes easier, and the impacts of technology are realized, the profession must continue to adhere to the Code of Ethics at all times, in all situations. Notwithstanding any future growth or opportunities, this statement holds true:
“It is expected that every member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association will pursue excellence in all professional activities, and will act with integrity, accountability and good judgement in the best interests of the patient/client, society and the physiotherapy profession.” (CPA, Code of Ethics)
Call to Action
Become a member: If you are already a member of CPA, thank you for investing in your profession. Encourage future members to join our professional association – because, like any organization - we are stronger together.
Professionalism toolkit: The Practice and Policy Team at CPA has developed these tools to share with you on the website. The tools help you deal with challenging situations.