Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Background An estimated 17.4% of children may be classified as children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) (NSCH 2019 20: Children with Special Health Care Needs, Minnesota, n.d.). In MN there are an estimated 180,000 CYSHCN (Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (Cyshn) - Minnesota Department of Health, n.d.). These children are those with or at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition (Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (Cyshn) - Minnesota Department of Health, n.d.). Occupational therapists’ scope of practice includes working with such children. Similarly, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) also provide a unique point-of-view when diagnosing and treating children with developmental disabilities. Together these two professions can collaborate to provide expanded holistic care to clients and their families. One such setting that these two professions collaborate in is private practice. Private practices fill a gap in access to therapy services for families who are experiencing distance-based barriers and limited provider availability (Carvalho, et. al., 2017). Therefore, a project was created to expand a current speech-language pathology private practice to potentially include an occupational therapist
Purpose The purpose of this project was to assist a current MN private practice clinic, owned and operated by a SLP, to expand practice following a novel business proposal to include hiring an occupational therapy (OT) position. The intent behind the business proposal was to guide the recruiting, marking, and hiring process for an OT position.
Methods A needs assessment, literature review, field observations and professional interviews were employed to compile data to create the business plan. The focus topics included: 1) collaborative healthcare approaches; 2) collaboration aiding professional growth; 3) collaboration supporting intervention planning; and 4) collaboration supporting client/family outcomes and therapy process understanding. The Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) model was used to guide the literature review and development of the product (Law, et. al., 1996).
Results The final business plan was constructed utilizing the known needs of the current practice, the results of the literature review and the PEO model. The business plan follows the lean startup plan model outlining: key partners, key activities, key resources, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams (Kanics, 2019). The occupational therapy process was analyzed and key components such as assessments and tools were identified along with costs and channels.
Conclusion and Significance The business owner will be able to utilize the business plan for financial planning and expansion of the business and services. This expansion increases competitiveness and desirability to patients. Patients have reported higher levels of satisfaction, improved access to, quality of and coordination of health services and improved health outcomes following treatment by a collaborative team approach (Peabody, et. al., 2019; World Health Organization, 2011).
Merriman-Ferri, Sydnie R., "Developing An Occupational Therapy Role In Pediatric Private Practice" (2022). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 521.