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Tannus Quatre PT, MBA, principal of Vantage Clinical Solutions, was quoted in an article in the April 2011 issue of the publication, PT in Motion. The article, titled “Contemporary Topics in Health Care: Behavioral Economics,” quoted Mr. Quatre with regard to understanding patient behaviors and applying this knowledge to physical therapy practice.

See an excerpt from the article below:

Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, recently helped a client develop a strategy for increasing the degree to which referred patients make their initial appointments. Quatre, who is principal and consultant at Vantage Clinical Solutions in Bend, OR, said that rather than offering the simple choice of whether to make an appointment, he and the client wrote a phone script that offered the patient choices of several dates and times, while emphasizing the value of the treatment. Quatre says that this approach reflects the “choice architecture” of behavioral economics. In other words, the patient is given a variety of choices, but all are designed to lead to an appointment.

Quatre also emphasizes what, in behavioral economics, is called framing: viewing economic gains and losses in context. For example, he says, “The onus is on the physical therapist as professional provider to communicate the value of treatment to patient and physician alike, emphasizing that physical therapy is a part of the plan of care, like lab tests or prescription medicine.”

Another part of the frame, he suggests, is approaching treatment as a partnership in care. “On day one, the physical therapist needs to establish this partnership, making it clear that this is something they need to do together, from showing up for appointments to following through with prescribed home exercises.”

Physical therapists, Quatre says, also benefit from working to reframe the perspective of referring sources, especially physicians. By developing a collegial approach and emphasizing a shared interest in patient care, physical therapists can encourage physicians to communicate to their patients the medical importance of treatment.

To view the entire article, please visit the APTA PT in Motion website (registration required).