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Principles to guide sustainable implementation of extended-scope-of-practice physiotherapy workforce redesign initiatives in Australia: stakeholder perspectives, barriers, supports, and incentives

Authors Morris J, Grimmer K, Gilmore L, Perera C, Waddington G, Kyle G, Ashman B, Murphy K

Received 19 December 2013

Accepted for publication 16 January 2014

Published 20 June 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 249—258

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S59473

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Joanne Morris,1 Karen Grimmer,2 Lisa Gilmore,1 Chandima Perera,3 Gordon Waddington,4 Greg Kyle,4 Bryan Ashman,5 Karen Murphy6

1The Physiotherapy Department, The Canberra Hospital, ACT Health, Canberra, ACT, Australia; 2International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 3Department of Rheumatology, The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT, Australia; 4The Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia; 5Department of Surgical Services, The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT, Australia; 6Office of Allied Health Advisor, ACT Health, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Abstract: Sustainable implementation of new workforce redesign initiatives requires strategies that minimize barriers and optimize supports. Such strategies could be provided by a set of guiding principles. A broad understanding of the concerns of all the key stakeholder groups is required before effective strategies and initiatives are developed. Many new workforce redesign initiatives are not underpinned by prior planning, and this threatens their uptake and sustainability. This study reports on a cross-sectional qualitative study that sought the perspectives of representatives of key stakeholders in a new workforce redesign initiative (extended-scope-of-practice physiotherapy) in one Australian tertiary hospital. The key stakeholder groups were those that had been involved in some way in the development, management, training, funding, and/or delivery of the initiative. Data were collected using semistructured questions, answered individually by interview or in writing. Responses were themed collaboratively, using descriptive analysis. Key identified themes comprised: the importance of service marketing; proactively addressing barriers; using readily understood nomenclature; demonstrating service quality and safety, monitoring adverse events, measuring health and cost outcomes; legislative issues; registration; promoting viable career pathways; developing, accrediting, and delivering a curriculum supporting physiotherapists to work outside of the usual scope; and progression from “a good idea” to established service. Health care facilities planning to implement new workforce initiatives that extend scope of usual practice should consider these issues before instigating workforce/model of care changes.

Keywords: extended scope physiotherapy, role redesign, business case development, models of care, workforce reform enablers

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