Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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Imaging SIG Membership Webinar Recordings

Membership Meeting Webinar:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Strategies to Implement Direct Referral for Diagnostic Imaging in PT Clinical Practice

Click here to view the recording.


Dr. Evan O. Nelson, PT, DPT, PhD, is a Board-Certified Specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy. Dr. Nelson teaches diagnostic imaging to clinicians and students as an assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, faculty member of the UW Health & UnityPoint Health-Meriter Orthopedic Residency. His practice experience spans multiple sports and orthopedic clinical settings including a current position at UW Health where he is a qualified X-ray ordering provider. Trained in translational clinical research, he led the project assessing how X-ray legislation affected PT practice in Wisconsin.

Connie Kittleson, PT, DPT is the Past President of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association (WPTA). She has presented at APTA's Combined Sections Meeting on Wisconsin's experience in passing legislation allowing physical therapists to order x-rays. She continues to serve as a Director for WPTA as well as on the State Legislative Affairs Committee.

Webinar Introduction:
Physical therapists (PTs) accurately identify the clinical need for diagnostic imaging studies, including X-rays, which provide critical information for the evaluation of some patients. State law or employer policy frequently limit PTs' ability to refer patients directly to the radiology department for imaging studies, subsequently limiting diagnostic ability. Recent changes in Wisconsin state law provide explicit authority for qualified PTs to refer for X-ray studies performed in radiology departments. This webinar provides strategies to establish allies and respond to opposition during the legislative process. However, successful implementation requires much more than legislative authority. Presenters will review the strategies used in Wisconsin to successfully pass legislation allowing PTs to refer patients directly for X-ray imaging. They will also recommend strategies to address the numerous organizational barriers to successfully implement imaging privileges in your PT organization. Data will show how the legislative changes affected physical therapy practice in Wisconsin without contributing to X-ray overutilization.

Archived Webinars:

Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
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