I have had such a great time connecting with OTs In Nashville! I have a fire in my belly about consistently improving the care we are offering to our clients-- and measuring it.
The take-aways from today are all from a birds-eye view. I will go back to more specifics tomorrow.
Gathering Evidence Needs To Be Top Priority
I read this on a LinkedIn Conversation in the past week: "Our acute care hospital has 2 orthopedic surgeons that will not refer to OT as the evidence doesn't support the need for our professional involvement!" I have a feeling her experience will be indicative of the pressure many of us will be feeling to show the numbers that our services are working.
Tucked away in a corner by the AOTPAC table was a new handout from the AOTA. I think it was the most important piece of information revealed at conference this year. It gathers the current research about the cost-effectiveness of our interventions. This handout is a great beginning, but I would love to see this resource expanded.
Our Students Are Crushing It
Approximately 40% of attendees of the conference are students. Our students are engaged, motivated and turning out in numbers almost equal to that of practicing clinicians. Through conversation, I've seen the high value that they place on connectivity. They aren't here for the CEUs. They are savvy enough to be gleaning an abundance of OT information online, so even this is secondary. They are here to connect. Their exuberance gives me great hope for our profession!
There Is An Door Opening For More OTs To Become Involved In Mental Health
Our country is realizing that one way to save money in healthcare is to pay more attention to patients' mental health. This often times forgotten market is getting a new focus and will likely have some new life breathed into it over the next couple years. Mental health is an area where OTs have powerful numbers on the efficacy of our work. I am excited to go more in depth on this topic soon!
We Need To Leverage New Opportunities For Sharing Info
I loved seeing all of the information shared at the poster session, but it also made me wonder how we can be sharing this information with more OTs. This could be as easy as snapping a picture of each poster and sharing them on the AOTA site. We need to continue to be creative in providing quality, current info to OTs.