The Healthcare Entrepreneur Blog

Live the PT Brand … Right Now

by Ben Montgomery | December 7th, 2012 | 4 responses

According to Tannus Quatre, PT, consultant, principal and all-around fearless leader here at Vantage Clinical Solutions, the time is ripe for physical therapists to trumpet their own brands – to be more outspoken in educating the public about the overall benefits of PT.

“The focus on health care never has been more intense, with health care reform all over the news and there being a shift to more patient responsibility in the economics of health care,” Tannus was quoted as saying in an article titled “Stand By Your Brand” in a recent edition of the magazine PT in Motion (Dec 2012/Jan 2013). “Co-pays are rising, and people are looking for answers. Physical therapy is a great answer.”

“Stand By Your Brand” discusses in detail an American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) brand campaign that says, in a nutshell, that in order to best raise PT awareness and educate current and future patients, all physical therapists should be seen as professional, enterprising, inspirational and knowledgeable.

In the article, Tannus joined other physical therapists from throughout the country in dissecting these four behaviors and attributes and how each can enhance a PTs ability to “live the brand.”

Being a guy whose mission is to improve health care through entrepreneurship (yep, that’s our mission here at Vantage), it’s not surprising Tannus had a few things to offer in the “A PT is Enterprising” portion of the article.

“This is the area to which I’ve devoted my professional career – facilitating new models of care delivery, such as cash-based services, that support the professional’s growth while benefiting our communities,” he said. “We PTs have plenty of entrepreneurial ideas and [an] enterprising spirit, but too much of it goes untapped. I do everything I can to encourage my peers to tap into the enterprising areas of their brains and to accept risk as a necessary element of professional growth.”

When discussing how PTs can live up to the title of “inspirational,” Tannus argued that this is a quality that can be difficult to learn. The solution?

“I think the onus is on our educational institutions to calibrate their recruitment and selection process toward prospective DPT students who have the capacity to inspire,” he said.

This, he said, can include implementing personality profiles and recruiting students from non-traditional pre-PT backgrounds, like business or the creative arts. This way, the art of branding individual practices, and PT as a whole, will certainly be more ingrained and become more proficient and innovative.

“I would love to see, within every PT and PTA curriculum across the United States, recognition of the importance of branding and a focus on everybody’s responsibility within that,” Tannus said. “We’re all in this thing together. It’s about our reputation. It’s about patient care. It’s about competing and thriving in the marketplace.”

You can read the article in its entirety by visiting www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2012/12/. There’s a pay wall (sorry), so if you can’t access the article, give us a call and we’ll be happy to share a bit about branding with you. It’s well worth a look-see because it’s sprinkled with branding tips, resources and campaigns you can access through APTA.

PT in Motion is the professional issues magazine of the APTA. It is published monthly.

Ben Montgomery
Ben Montgomery is a healthcare and business contributor for Vantage Clinical Solutions, a nationwide healthcare consulting and management firm located in Bend, OR and Denver, CO. Ben studied journalism at Simpson College (IA) and has been writing professionally for 17 years. He is available via the Vantage Clinical Solutions website and @montybrew.
  • jonathan

    How does evidence based practice figure in to the Vantage solution?

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for your comment. I apologize that I don’t see the tie between your comment and the article posted here, but I’d be happy to discuss our view on evidence-based practice, and how we support this through our solutions. Please feel free to call our office and I would be happy to discuss with you.

    Tannus

  • Jon Comins

    What I mean is, if the treatment objective is the brand, how do we
    ensure the patient recieves the best treatment. As a research scientist,
    I worry that the the whole concept of
    entrepreneurial “practice-building” threatens the concept of evidence
    (statistically proven results). Although I have to admit, your site is
    really amazing, contentwise and visually impressive .

  • Thanks for your kind remarks Jon – much appreciated! I also appreciate your concern – it is important that “practice-building” motives support the valiant efforts of our profession to base our interventions in evidence.

    I believe these two facets can (er, MUST) work hand-in-hand. On the one hand, the physical therapy profession has grown leaps and bounds over the past decade through our commitment to evidence-based-practice. I believe we have separated ourselves from competing professions quite handily through this approach, and we are emerging as a REAL solution to the qualitative and financial crisis we are facing within American healthcare.

    On the other hand, the evidence is not – by itself – enough. Physical therapy, like any profession or industry, must satisfy consumer demands and provide value that exceeds that which can be found by competing providers. This is where we have work to do, especially in the realm of private practice physical therapy.

    We know we have value to share, and we only need to look to the evidence for support of this. The consumer, however (both the patient AND medical referrals), do not appreciate or understand the evidence in the way that we do. Hence, an approach to the market which is based in a strong conveyance of “the PT brand” – a brand which speaks in understandable, consumer-facing language and concepts, is what is needed.

    I appreciate your efforts and contribution as a research scientist, and hope that our work to build a consumer-friendly, highly coveted “PT brand” will put that research to work for the masses :)