Trendsetters: Chat with PT Leaders in the Field
Physical Therapists are exploring unique opportunities in the field both within and outside of traditional clinical practice. In this interview series, we will meet with leaders in PT who are making a difference. We will explore what they do to create that satisfying, successful and prosperous career many therapists dream of. Let’s learn what they do to create an extraordinary quality of life and professional career, and how we too can gain that level of achievement that makes us proud of our profession.
In today’s interview, we meet a PT who developed a unique company devoted to expanding the availability of quality educational programs online and in live conferences. Let’s meet Brandon Osborn, MPT, owner of HomeCEUConnection.com, based in Plano, Texas.
Schmidt: Hello Brandon, thank you for taking the time to share your experience in the field, and for blazing a trail in a new arena of online training and education for healthcare professionals.-How did you become interested in the field of physical therapy initially, and what made you change gears and get involved in the business side of the field?
Osborn: Well, to be perfectly honest I’ve got a bit of a competitive streak. I was originally attracted by the challenge of gaining acceptance to a physical therapy program. Learning to deliver quality care in a phase of the healing process was a bonus.
I discovered my entrepreneurial spirit through several life experiences and side ventures while I was practicing as a therapist. Those life experiences and side ventures led me to focus my energy on an under-served niche: Online continuing education for healthcare providers otherwise known as HomeCEUConnection.com.
What made you choose to develop an online continuing education company?
The recognition of that niche in the market combined with my love of a challenge made me determined to bring a user friendly, seamless, high quality, reliable, approved learning experience directly to every therapist across the country. Over time HomeCEUConnection.com has become much more than just another continuing education company: It’s about commitment to our core values, outstanding customer service, developing our own unique, positive, fun loving culture. We are raising the bar by embracing advances in technology taking online education, training, compliance and e-learning management to a whole new level for the ultimate customer experience.
Where is the real value for therapists pursuing online education as compared to live seminars? How can therapists benefit from your experience?
The benefits of e-learning are endless: Better accessibility, lower cost, convenience, instant replay and immediate acknowledgment of completion. We know that access to a variety of high quality continuing education, training and compliance can be a real challenge. Thanks to advances in technology, now instead of flying half way around the country and spending buckets of money and time on a live seminar, you can attend quality educational courses without having to leave home or disrupt your schedule.
Speaking of live seminars, what prompted you to create the Rehab Rally conference?
Rehab Rally serves a few purposes; In addition to providing high quality, high impact therapy continuing education, it gives us a venue to showcase our company culture and core values. This allows us to build long lasting relationships with the therapists we serve every day and with business leaders in our industry. Most importantly we use the feedback we gather from our students and business leaders at Rehab Rally to better serve them in the future.
What is the next step in bringing live programs directly to therapists across the country? Tell us a little bit about the new technology you use.
We’re using cutting edge technology to push the envelope on the customer’s experience and we’re deeply committed to continuing to push that envelope as new technology is developed. Most recently we’ve been able to recreate the live classroom environment in a media rich online product. Seminar-On-Demand courses stream a media rich video and power point presentation seamlessly directly to the student’s computer. In addition we are working tirelessly on a very exciting and significant upgrade of our website and e-learning management system. The new website and e-learning management system will significantly streamline the user experience and lay the foundation for future improvements.
It appears you are now expanding your educational offerings to other healthcare professionals. Tell us about the challenge of meeting the Provider approval across the country?
It’s definitely been a challenge to comply with the rules and standards of each individual state and profession. In order to hold true to Core Value #1 (Delivering a SMILE through service) we created an entire department that’s responsible for maintaining Quality and Accreditation. HomeCEUConnection.com adheres to a strict triple verification process, and our entire team is trained on the rules and regulations to ensure we’re giving our customers top quality, reliable service and information.
How do you feel about the requirement for the DPT as the required entry-level degree in physical therapy?
I think it’s fantastic! I love the fact that the bar is being continuously raised for our profession. It helps attract and retain the best talent available. A close friend of mine has a saying: “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”.
Do you believe this translates into making a difference in how therapists actually practice?
Absolutely I do. For a lot of people, perception is reality. DPT is a huge credibility builder for our profession amongst not only patients, but peers and payors as well. And with more credibility comes more opportunity and with more opportunity comes more responsibility.
What changes do you envision for the field?
Another one of HomeCEUConnection.com’s core values is “Relentless Forward Motion”. It’s imperative that our new DPTs are business savvy so that they can drive the profession forward. I know it’s not generally a popular topic amongst therapists, but in order for our profession to survive and thrive, business skills are absolutely critical.
It appears you have successfully embraced the business side of physical therapy. Do you have any advice for therapists in the field regarding how they too can be successful not only in clinical outcomes, but achieving the level of financial success that we see so much more frequently in business-oriented practices such as chiropractic and medicine?
First and foremost I believe that a business education and/or extensive experience under the guidance of a mentor are vital to financial success in our profession. As therapists we’re trained with a singular vision: Deliver the highest quality care to our patients. This, in itself, is fantastic, but we need to remove the blinders. We have to be able to stick to that vision with sustainability and profitability or we run the risk of being limited to working for someone that does understand how to run a business-oriented practice.
What can our educational programs do to bring us to that next level?
In the near term our schools and clinics need to integrate business classes and or training into the core curriculum emphasizing the utilization of sound business practices in the delivery of quality care. As we move forward with the APTA’s 2020 vision our schools need to begin the process of integrating an MBA program into the core physical therapy curriculum. We need to prepare our next generation of therapists to handle the future challenges of quality, efficient healthcare delivery and the growth of the profession.
Have you any advice for new graduates? Is there a protocol for success? Tell us your strategy!
I call my protocol to success “P2”. Success is a by-product of “Purpose” and “Perseverance”. Purpose can vary from individual to individual but perseverance by its very definition is unchanging. HomeCEUConnection.com’s Core Value #10 exemplifies our commitment to perseverance: “Know No Limits”.
What is your next step?
Our whole organization is deeply committed to Core Value, “Embrace and Drive Change”, with the common goal of exceeding our customer’s expectations and improving their experience. TheHomeCEUConnection.com team is working on some new and exciting things that will allow us to hold true to this core value. Keep up with these developments and all the other exciting things going on at HomeCEUConnection.com on our Facebook page, our Twitter feed and on our blog at www.HomeCEUConnection.com/blog.
Thank you Brandon, for taking the time out of your incredibly busy schedule to speak with us about the opportunities therapists have in our field, and how they too can enrich their lives and the lives of others by becoming successful both professionally and personally. We wish you much success in meeting your goals!
Future interviews will be with leaders in PT entry-level education, geriatric PT clinicians, manual therapy specialists, pediatric experts and more.