This decision to self-regulate dove tails with the recommendations of the taskforce report of 1995 and provides the consumer with the ability to have some control over his or her health care choices (Lunstroth, 2006).
Although formal continuing education (CE) in physical therapy is one part of professional development, its value for renewing licensure is not shared by all states (Glovinsky, 2005)." recent study conducted in Utah targeted physical therapists and their various methods of obtaining state mandated ongoing and continuing education requirements.
Although formal CE is not the only way to stay abreast of new knowledge, skills, and scientific information, it has been shown to be an effective conduit for positive change in professional practice and patient health outcomes. Thomson O'Brien et alts included 32 randomized or quasi-experimental studies in their systematic review of the literature investigating the effect of CE meetings on the clinical practice of health care professionals or health care outcomes (Glovinsky, 2005)."
The state's mandated practice for ongoing education requirements is actually based in a 1967 state mandate and had not been updated for many years. However, the study concludes that:
Recently, more external pressure has come from 2 entities, the Taskforce on Health Care Workforce Regulation of the Pew Health Professions Commission and the Citizen Advocacy Center, which have issued reports to recommend that states and licensing systems take steps to ensure the continuing competence of health care professionals (Glovinsky, 2005)."
In the field of physical therapy the study found that there are 20 states that do not follow the recommendations of the taskforce report with regard to licensing and ongoing educational requirements.
Utah is included in that list of states. While other areas of compliance can be found in the state with regard to the health care practitioner field the current regulation of physical therapist ongoing education requirements does not meet with the taskforce report recommendations.
Recently there has been much attention paid to the diversity in this country with regard to cultural differences, and those differences have carried over into the health care field as well (Office of Minority Health (http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/omh/faq.htm).
New York recently implemented a cultural competency requirement in its licensing and practice health care regulations.
It provides for assistance in 16 community partnerships at the state level when it comes to bilingual and other aspects of cultural health care for the state consumers.
The regulation is designed to examine health disparities as they relate to health care.
Health Disparities" are defined as population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health care. Six clinical issues (Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Infant mortality, HIV / AIDS, Cancer screening and management, and Immunizations) were chosen because they represent a major portion of health problems in low income, rural, and urban communities and in people of color. Two other major conditions for which the Surgeon General has devoted attention are asthma and oral health (Office of Minority Health (http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/omh/faq.htm)."
The state has mandated addressing these concerns which fits in with the recommendations of the taskforce report as it provides regulations for cultural competency in those areas.
The New Jersey nursing association also provides support for the recommendations of the taskforce report.
NJSNA supports the standardization of regulation and oversight of the education and practice of all individuals delivering nursing related services. The NJ Department of Health and Senior Services and the NJ Board of Nursing should be in a collaborative relationship with regards to the oversight and establishment of standards affecting the delivery of healthcare in NJ State Government Agencies and all settings where care is provided (http://www.njsna.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=94)."
The taskforce report was instrumental in identifying and illuminating many aspects of regulation in the health care field that were confusing to the consumer. With the recommendations being followed in various states the public safety and freedom of choice with regard to its health care needs is further supported.
The report provided a solid foundation for states to follow so that their individual health care systems could be operated more efficiently and fairly.
Policy Considerations for the 21st Century
Report of the Taskforce on Health Care
Lunstroth, John (2006) Voluntary self-regulation of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners. Albany Law Review
Glovinsky, David; Krum, Laura L.; Landers, Merrill R.; McWhorter, James W. (2005) Mandatory continuing education in physical therapy: survey of physical therapists in states with and states without a mandate.(Research Report)
Office of Minority Health (Accessed 7-1-07)
Standardized Regulation of Nursing & Health Related Services