Done! One would think so anyways, considering that we are days away from our project deadline. And as far as our professional assignment project (PAP) is concerned, getPTsmart.com is receiving it’s finishing touch today. However, we must have tickled the right spots on some professionals dealing with clinical reasoning, resulting in ongoing conversation with various experts. Dr. R. H. H. Engelbert, the director of physiotherapy education at the University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, and editor of “Clinical Reasoning with the HOAC II” (2010) is one of these experts. In this little post we’d like to share some of our future vision with you.

First things first – rest & digest

It was a fun, but long haul in the past few month. And there seems to be only one right way to continue in the next little while. The motto here is: rest & digest and temporarily ignoring getPTsmart.com’s entire existence. While this may seem harsh to some, we believe that it will allow us to return with the drive and creativity we need to make getPTsmart.com a successful venture beyond the boundaries of a PAP. This little disclaimer out of the way, there are of course some plans and ideas worth mentioning.

Natural growth

From the get-go it was the objective to focus our efforts on the development of a web application with a lasting shelf life. A sound foundation and extendibility was the key. If we wanted getPTsmart.com to stay useful and applicable, it needed to be possible to add case content with ease.

Now, that the web application is completed, additional case studies of all sorts (e.g. orthopedic, cardiorespiratory, pediatrics and others) can be added easily by anybody who has been introduced to the back-end.

To give our users and reviewers a clear idea of how getPTsmart.com works, we committed to feed the web app with three trial case studies. That being said, we do believe that the true potential of our project will come to show once users and professors alike deliver new case studies on continuous basis.

Integration & future use

We are excited about the feedback we have received regarding the implementation of getPTsmart.com in the clinical reasoning modules of Physical Therapy programs at the University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam. Although no final decisions have been made, several professors are enthusiastic about integrating getPTsmart.com into their lectures and thereby supporting its natural growth.

Who will run the show?

That’s a difficult one to answer. For now we will continue to discuss the future of getPTsmart.com with our client Jan-Jaap Voigt, our coach Bas Moed and various other experts for external input. From our current standpoint we would love to see our product being put to use. And we are keen on developing it further if we can see it being feasible beyond the scope of our current studies. Several models have been discussed within and outside of our team, yet a final decision is still to be made.

Data collection

In the world of evidence based practice, speculation and expert advice only goes so far. Rather sooner than later decisions have to be based on a large pool of solid data. The same accounts for getPTsmart.com. We have received heaps of appraisals from professionals, but we really have no clue how our product works for its intended target group on a large scale. We need a multi-centre cohort study so to speak. Initially, this was part of our to-dos to be completed before the PAP deadline. However, as a down-side to all the professional chit-chat that currently appears to be surrounding our project, we are not allowed to set our web application free. So for now it will remain in the dark, waiting to be unleashed.

Once our project sees the light of day, quantitative and qualitative data can be gathered to help make sound choices for future developments and integration.

Future developments & upgrades

From the beginning there were too many great ideas and plans for the short period of time and limited resources we had available. Throughout 20+ meetings with professionals and various feedback from our potential users, the wish-list grew out of proportion. As a final set of lines for this post, here are two of the ideas we plan to develop and integrate:

  1. A forum where users can discuss solutions to the case studies
  2. A user manual for the integration of getPTsmart.com into lectures
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