This May, for National Physiotherapy Month, Ontario Physiotherapy Association members share the impact of physiotherapists’ scope of practice on their communities.

Helen Razmjou, PT, PhD:

“The Advanced Practice Provider (APP) role was developed in Ontario to maximize health human resources with the goal of streamlining access to care for patients with shoulder conditions, and hip and knee arthritis. Extensive responsibilities of the APPs include triaging of the referrals, clinical examination, ordering diagnostic imaging, using complex decision-making tools, and providing post-operative care. Our APPs at Sunnybrook have shown continuous leadership in clinical and research activities, which contributes to ongoing practice changes.

APPs in our centre have been authorized by medical directive to order diagnostic imaging investigations. We have seen the growth and success of the APP model of care over the past 18 years in Ontario, and I am positive that by final approval of the Bill 179 and expanding the scope of practice to all eligible Ontario physiotherapists, we can further facilitate timely and effective access to diagnostic imaging.

Our team at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre’s Holland Bone and Joint Program is leading the way in optimizing patient care. Through extensive research, we have shown that physiotherapists and occupational therapists working to their full scope and beyond, can significantly reduce unnecessary investigations and consultations, ultimately improving the patient experience. I have specifically written a book about the radiological examination of the shoulder joint, that is available via University of Toronto to all physiotherapists who wish to enrich their training for ordering and interpreting diagnostic imaging of the shoulder.

I would like to celebrate National Physiotherapy Month with all my fellow colleagues who reach for their full potential and strive for excellence every single day.”

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