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  • My support person hurt someone. Am I in trouble?

    Jan 05, 2015

    Scene 1: You assessed your patient and made a plan that included having her walk with a walker. But one day, in your absence, your support person independently decides that the patient is ready to use a cane instead. This was really bad judgement. Now the patient has fallen and broken her hip. Are you responsible?

    Maybe. One of the questions we would ask is whether you knew that your support person might make an independent treatment decision.

    Scene 2: Your support person sexually abused a patient. Are you responsible?

    Maybe. The College would want to know whether there were any hints that the person was likely to behave inappropriately and whether you had taken the right actions to correct it.

    We know that you want clear answers from us, but in these situations it’s impossible. Our investigation would involve the questions posed above and more. Every situation has to be evaluated in its own context. The bottom line is that you, the PT, are responsible for decisions or actions taken by a support person acting under your authority. And, patients have a right to expect to receive care that is just as good as if you had delivered it yourself.

    So, if you aren’t sure whether your support person has the knowledge, skills and judgement to carry out your treatment plan, you’d better train that person and supervise them until you are sure.

    If your employer hired someone whose work you would not want carried out under your name, make your objections loud, clear and official. If you have observed any questionable ethical behaviour on the part of someone working for you, take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If you think your PTA shows questionable clinical judgement, you must give very clear instructions, including direction about the limits of their decision-making authority.

    On the other hand, if you are thoughtfully and appropriately using support persons to make certain that you can deliver safe and effective care to as many patients as possible, thank you on behalf of all of us PT patients across Ontario.

    You may be aware that Council approved putting more information about PTs on the Public Register at its meeting in December 2014. One of the things that will now appear on the Register, starting July 1, 2015, is whether you work with support personnel. This was a tough decision for Council and the subject of a long debate. Ultimately, they decided to go ahead because patients are entitled to know who is delivering their care and because Council is hopeful that having the information on the Public Register may help to remind all PTs that this is another area where quality practice is very important to the College.

    We know that support personnel are a necessary and often a valuable addition to PT practice today. We will be putting lots of background information on our website so that patients understand more about these practitioners and what to expect from a PT who uses support personnel.

    In the meantime, you should use your good judgement to determine whether the support personnel that you work with need closer supervision, better training or a narrower range of assigned tasks.

    Do you use support personnel? How do you ensure that they deliver the same quality of care as you would yourself? We want to hear from you.

    Scene 1: You assessed your patient and made a plan that included having her walk with a walker. But one day, in your absence, your support person independently decides that the patient is ready to use a cane instead. This was really bad judgement. Now the patient has fallen and broken her hip. Are you […]
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    • Policy
  • Bad Start to a New Career

    Nov 13, 2014
    I’m not kidding you, this was a conversation that one of my colleagues overheard recently on a train. Student 1 (let’s call him Jason): I’m going to start my own business. Student 2 (let’s call him Mateo): Me too—I’m never going to work for someone else. Jason: I know, right? And here’s what I’m going […]
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    • Standards
    • billing
    • College
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • credentials
    • education
    • ethical care
    • Fraud
    • inappropriate billing
    • Insurance Fraud
    • investigations
    • physical therapists
    • physical therapy program
    • physiotherapists
    • profession
    • protect the public
    • public interest
    • qualified
    • quality care
    • student
    • title
    • university
  • Physiotherapy Ethical Issues: Transparency to Patients and the Public

    Oct 16, 2014
    How much information about their health care providers should patients and other members of the public be able to see? Where’s the line between the public’s right to know and the professional’s right to privacy? All of the health care professions in Ontario have Public Registers on their websites. These Registers all have some information […]
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    • WikiLeaks
    • Transparency
    • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
    • Shenda's Blog
    • right to privacy
    • right to know
    • Public Register
    • public
    • physiotherapy
    • physiotherapists
    • physical therapists
    • Patients
    • patient safety
    • Ontario College of Pharmacists
    • Minister of Health
    • Inquiries
    • information
    • ICRC
    • health care provider
    • Drug trafficking
    • Dr. Eric Hoskins
    • discipline
    • CPSO
    • Complaints and Reports Committee
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • College
    • available to public
  • Joke: What Do You Call Uninformed Consent? Punchline: No Consent at All!

    Sep 11, 2014
    OK. I know, that was a lame joke. I hope you aren’t coming to this blog for humour. Let me tell you about something that happened to me a few years ago, before I was Registrar of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. I called a sports rehab clinic where I’d been before, to see […]
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    • Consent
    • Assessments
    • clinics
    • College
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • consent form
    • Health Care Consent Act
    • informed
    • informed consent
    • patient choice
    • Patient Consent
    • Private Practice
    • PT Assistant
    • regulation
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • Shenda's Blog
    • Support Personnel
    • treatment
  • What if Your Colleague Made a Mistake But You Got Punished?

    Jul 09, 2014
    A few years ago the British Parliament was considering how they could improve patient safety after a series of crushing hospital incidents. And here is what the members of parliament said, “Doctors could risk losing their licence if they fail to report fitness to practise concerns about their colleagues.”[1] Do you think about that for […]
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    • Professionalism
    • Reporting
    • Standards
    • Australia
    • breached
    • British Parliament
    • cases
    • Children’s Aid
    • Colleague
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    • College
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • concerns
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    • fail to report
    • failing to report concerns
    • feedback
    • fitness to practise
    • health concerns
    • hospital incidents
    • identify
    • impaired substance abuse
    • incompetence
    • investigated
    • legal obligations
    • losing licence
    • members of parliament
    • mental health problems
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    • monitoring
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    • physiotherapy
    • police
    • profession
    • public interest
    • Punished
    • regulation
    • report
    • risk
    • scope of practice
    • self-regulation
    • sexual misconduct
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • Shenda's Blog
    • standards for physiotherapy
    • supervisor
    • take action
    • the Board
  • Why is the College such a lousy advocate for PTs?

    Jun 10, 2014
    Hi Everyone—the headline is a trick question. We aren’t advocates for physiotherapy or physiotherapists at all. We aren’t even allowed to be. The legislation that creates the College of Physiotherapists (and all the other health colleges in Ontario) gives us our power but also limits our power. It creates the College for the purpose of […]
    Full story
    • Policy
    • College
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • CPO
    • funding changes
    • funding model
    • Ontario Physiotherapy Association
    • physical therapists
    • physiotherapists
    • public interest
    • regulation
    • scope of practice
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • Shenda's Blog
  • Clinic Regulation: Now What?

    May 20, 2014
    Two posts ago, I asked you whether you thought that the College ought to regulate clinics in addition to the physiotherapists who work in them. The overwhelming majority of comments favoured this idea. You told us that College regulation would mean higher quality care in the clinics and that it would make them safer places […]
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    • Regulation of Clniics
    • clinic regulation
    • clinics
    • College
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • comment
    • Council
    • inappropriate business practices
    • Patients
    • physical therapists
    • physiotherapists
    • physiotherapy
    • physiotherapy clinics
    • protect the public
    • public interest
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • Shenda's Blog
  • Advertising and Physiotherapy: Where Do You Draw the Line?

    Apr 07, 2014
    Some of you are familiar with the Advertising Standard. Among other things, it prohibits endorsements, testimonials, superlatives and anything that could be interpreted as promoting a demand for unnecessary services. I know some of you hate it. I have heard from you that it is not fair that you must compete with unregulated clinic owners […]
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    • Policy
    • Standards
    • accountability
    • advertising
    • advertising regulations
    • College
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • Groupon
    • physical therapists
    • physiotherapists
    • physiotherapy
    • professional standards
    • protect the public
    • public
    • public interest
    • self-regulation
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • Shenda's Blog
    • SocialLiving
    • unprofessional behaviours
    • WagJag
  • Should the College Regulate Physiotherapy Clinics? Thanks for the Feedback!

    Apr 03, 2014
    Thank you for all your input on the issue of whether the College ought to regulate clinics. We left the blog post up for longer than usual because new comments kept coming in. The College will be exploring the potential for clinic regulation over the next few years. Watch Perspectives or the website for updates […]
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    • Policy
    • Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud investigation
    • billing
    • College
    • College Council President
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • government
    • health care
    • health care fraud
    • Ontario
    • physical therapists
    • physiotherapists
    • physiotherapy
    • physiotherapy clinics
    • protect the public
    • public interest
    • Registrar
    • regulate
    • regulation
    • regulatory
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • The College
  • Should the College Regulate Physiotherapy Clinics?

    Jan 31, 2014
    I have been thinking about fraudulent billing practices a lot lately. Not such a cheerful way to begin the New Year, I know. This won’t come as much of a surprise to you if you have been following the College’s activities over the past 18 months: one of our strategic goals is to improve the […]
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    • Policy
    • billing
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • HCAI
    • health care fraud
    • Health Claims for Auto Insurance
    • IBC
    • inappropriate billing
    • Insurance Bureau of Canada
    • PCT
    • physical therapists
    • physiotherapists
    • physiotherapy clinics
    • professional credential tracker
    • PT clinics
    • public interest
    • public safety
    • registration number
    • Shenda Tanchak
    • Shenda's Blog
    • The College
    • title protection

Contact the Practice Advisor

Free and anonymous counsel for PTs, patients, & the public. Learn More 

practiceadvice@collegept.org
416-591-3828 ext. 241
1-800-583-5885 ext. 241