Putting the ally into allied health

What do you get when you cross advice from a health economist with that from a leading physiotherapist? Increased revenue and a better patient experience, say our guests on today’s episode of The Tea Room.

Scott Willis is president of the Australian Physiotherapists Association and a proud Palawa man. He says better results come from general practices who genuinely embrace allied health as part of the team.

“If you have social events, invite them. Let them be part of your strategy of the practice. They might sometimes see things from a different angle and add value to where practice is heading,” he says.

Mr Willis also says the business relationship amplifies when it wraps around the needs of the patients.

“The number one thing is that both parties – GPs and allied health - believe that it's a partnership to make the patient journey better. I know it's a business transaction in terms of hiring a space or having some type of input within general practice, but it has to be viewed as more than that,” he says

Tracey Johnson, health economist and CEO of Inala Primary Care, also favours multidisciplinary team care for patients. She also has a robust economic rationale for engaging allied health within a general practice.

“Given the rents that people are now paying in this sector, it will be incredibly hard for you to survive if you don't have onsite allied health or pathology or pharmacy that you are subleasing to,” she said.

Ms Johnson says that many doctors work part time and that hot-desking their rooms makes perfect economic sense.

“Some doctors might work from 8:00am in the morning until 2:30pm and pick their children up from school. So, bring in some allied health who might to use those rooms from 3:00pm until 7:00pm. You get more utilization around those rooms, more marginal return, and generally things come together better for the patients as well,” she says.

For more tips on how to optimise your allied health arrangements listen to the full episode.

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