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According to Tannus Quatre, PT, consultant, principal and all-around fearless leader here at Vantage Clinical Solutions, the time is ripe for physical therapists to trumpet their own brands – to be more outspoken in educating the public about the overall benefits of PT.

“The focus on health care never has been more intense, with health care reform all over the news and there being a shift to more patient responsibility in the economics of health care,” Tannus was quoted as saying in an article titled “Stand By Your Brand” in a recent edition of the magazine PT in Motion (Dec 2012/Jan 2013). “Co-pays are rising, and people are looking for answers. Physical therapy is a great answer.”

“Stand By Your Brand” discusses in detail an American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) brand campaign that says, in a nutshell, that in order to best raise PT awareness and educate current and future patients, all physical therapists should be seen as professional, enterprising, inspirational and knowledgeable.

In the article, Tannus joined other physical therapists from throughout the country in dissecting these four behaviors and attributes and how each can enhance a PTs ability to “live the brand.”

Being a guy whose mission is to improve health care through entrepreneurship (yep, that’s our mission here at Vantage), it’s not surprising Tannus had a few things to offer in the “A PT is Enterprising” portion of the article.

“This is the area to which I’ve devoted my professional career – facilitating new models of care delivery, such as cash-based services, that support the professional’s growth while benefiting our communities,” he said. “We PTs have plenty of entrepreneurial ideas and [an] enterprising spirit, but too much of it goes untapped. I do everything I can to encourage my peers to tap into the enterprising areas of their brains and to accept risk as a necessary element of professional growth.”

When discussing how PTs can live up to the title of “inspirational,” Tannus argued that this is a quality that can be difficult to learn. The solution?

“I think the onus is on our educational institutions to calibrate their recruitment and selection process toward prospective DPT students who have the capacity to inspire,” he said.

This, he said, can include implementing personality profiles and recruiting students from non-traditional pre-PT backgrounds, like business or the creative arts. This way, the art of branding individual practices, and PT as a whole, will certainly be more ingrained and become more proficient and innovative.

“I would love to see, within every PT and PTA curriculum across the United States, recognition of the importance of branding and a focus on everybody’s responsibility within that,” Tannus said. “We’re all in this thing together. It’s about our reputation. It’s about patient care. It’s about competing and thriving in the marketplace.”

You can read the article in its entirety by visiting www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2012/12/. There’s a pay wall (sorry), so if you can’t access the article, give us a call and we’ll be happy to share a bit about branding with you. It’s well worth a look-see because it’s sprinkled with branding tips, resources and campaigns you can access through APTA.

PT in Motion is the professional issues magazine of the APTA. It is published monthly.