Promoting quality and research in private community rehabilitation

Ms Kate Phillips1

1Independent Rehabilitation Services, Ashburton, Australia

Independent Rehabilitation Services (IRS) has been operating for over 17 years, providing Occupational Therapy (OT), Physiotherapy (PT) and Speech Pathology (SP) in a community rehabilitation setting.  There are several key factors which drive quality and research in this environment.  Governance & policy are mandatory to our operations but quality and research is the icing on the cake, it’s achievable and makes our work much more enjoyable.

Aim: We explore the factors and review the enablers and barriers which allow quality and research to grow and develop to become the forefront of what we do.

Method: Quality evaluation of  structure, values, investment, motivation and engagement are crucial to promoting quality and allowing research to occur.  What has worked for us and what hasn’t worked? How do you commit to this and ensure viability? How do you keep staff motivated and interested in this? Is it just our weekly lunches?

Results: We have managed to carry out our own research, promote knowledge translation, participate in research projects, educate ourselves and others. We frequently question ourselves about our knowledge and skills.

Significance of finding for Allied health: Quality & research are not mutually exclusive to private practice, it can occur within a multidisciplinary community rehabilitation environment.