Accreditation of professional practices is a growing, international trend which the society of Physiotherapy in South Africa embraces. Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy, based in Hillcrest, is the first accredited practice in the upper highway area. The accreditation took three years to complete but according to Debbie Cameron, owner of the practice which started 14 years ago, the numerous hours of work has been worth it. “It means that the practice is working with, and enhancing, the core values of the physiotherapy profession which are honesty, integrity, trust worthiness and consistency,” explains Debbie.
“We are accountable to each and every person who comes through our doors, as well as the medical funders and the physiotherapy profession as a whole,” she continues. Internationally, the accreditation ranking requires that a practice achieve five key competencies namely:
good management procedures
standardisation of operating procedures which includes compliance with national laws such as the protection of personal data - the POPI act.
human resource management
high calibre facilities and equipment which are compliant with health and safety laws for people’s protection
quality management control which necessitates enhancing and updating the practice’s service when required. This is ongoing and assessed through customer surveys and feedback.
The aim of the above key competencies is to help physiotherapy practices to deliver safe, high quality healthcare and embrace continuous quality improvements. “The accreditation process helped to me formally acknowledge many hygiene procedures which we were already implementing correctly but on an informal basis. Regular electrotherapy servicing and monthly safety checks are now conducted according to a set procedure and time schedule,’’ says Debbie.
Physiotherapists have abilities, such as the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and judgements and must continue to grow in their professional abilities. Whilst the society monitors the continued education of all physiotherapists, the practice, through the accreditation process has committed to monitor each of their physiotherapist’s ethical and professional conduct. Committing to the accreditation process requires that Debbie develop quality management programmes. This entails the discipline of putting her thoughts and philosophies on paper in a meaningful and relevant way. “I feel that this has enhanced the practice’s clinical management of our patients.
The practice now has important information on what people living in the Upper Highway community like / dislike and how their treatments can best be managed.” The ranking of an accredited practice means that Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy is a preferred provider for medical funders, such as Discovery Health and Bestmed, as they trust that treatment at an accredited practice will be competent and effective. She believes that the accreditation standard has been a significant and positive step forward for the practice, the society and the patients they treat. The Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy practice is committed to being a forerunner in the profession of physiotherapy and to effectively serving the people in their community. In conclusion, the Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy practice’s quality of care includes: respect for the individual professional accountability evidence-based practices ound risk management, and ongoing learning.