Wow what a year 2016 was!!

Happy New Year to you all!!  Before I say anything else I would like to thank everyone who contributed to Physiopedia in 2016.

Our team has grown with many of our volunteers taking on specific roles, you people are awesome. Everyone that helped us develop courses, your expertise helps us to make great quality courses.  Our partners who continue to provide resources and support.  Last but not least our users, the global Physiopedia community, you are what makes Physiopedia great! Thank you!!

So now onto reflections and planning.  Here in the Physiopedia office it’s important for us to spend time looking back at what we have achieved in the past year, where we can improve and make exciting plans for the next year.

2016 has been a bit of a whirlwind that has stretched our small, but very committed, team to the limit. The open Physiopedia resource continues as the largest most widely used physiotherapy resource in the world.  This year over 4 million people from 237 countries visited Physiopedia.

Top ten users of Physiopedia by country
Top ten users of Physiopedia in 2016 by country

We took a bit of a new direction with Physiopedia Plus (PP+) by developing an innovative space where any physiotherapist in the world can have their very own personal learning environment and committing to adding a new 16 hour online course every 2 months.  Our courses this year included: Tendinopathy, Introduction to Neurology, Understanding Pain, Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy and Introduction to the Knee.  We have enjoyed running these courses and love seeing the impact that it has on clinical practice.  There will be many more opportunities to learn with Physiopedia in 2017.

The innovative personal learning environment that every Physiopedia Plus user gets.
The innovative personal learning environment that every Physiopedia Plus user gets.

We also ran two free open online courses (MOOCs), this year in the free trial area of Physiopedia Plus allowing participants to record all the learning activities that they completed and export this data to keep as evidence of learning.  With the ICRC the Managing Children with Cerebral Palsy was the largest course yet with over 14,000 individuals registrations, the enthusiasm for learning about this topic was immense.  The Physiotherapy, Exercise and Physical Activity had around 8,000 registrations and resulted in some great community intervention ideas with one person from Kenya going as far as being on their local radio to promote physical activity. These two courses (reports coming soon) tested PP+ to the max, we were delighted to have the system withstand so may users and for the positive feedback for the platform that these course participants expressed.

CPA Physiopedia partnershipWe have enjoyed working with many national member associations this year where we have come to better understand member association needs and objectives allowing us to incorporate this knowledge into all that we do to provide better opportunities for you, their members.  Working with Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) we have developed a service in PP+ that their members are hugely appreciative of and we are looking forward to working with new member organisation partners in South Africa, Romania, Malta, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Nepal this year.

At the many conferences and meetings we attended this year we thoroughly enjoyed meeting our users and collaborators, the Physiopedia community.  It is great to chat to people in person, get feedback and discuss professional issues.  To everyone that took the time to chat to us, thank you, your feedback is invaluable.

We often get questioned on the “quality” issue and this will become a priority for us in 2017.  We know this is an important issue but we also know from the recent quality survey that we ran that it is a relatively small problem however we still intend to do all that we can to address it. We are planning opportunities for all users to provide feedback on specific Physiopedia pages and a dedicated team to respond to those comments.  However, as a starting point I would like to re-iterate that any physiotherapists or physical therapist can edit Physiopedia so if you see an error please take a few minutes to make an update.  Imagine if everyone did this, we would have the largest most up-to-date online text for our profession available to everyone for free at our finger tips.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all considered this part of our professional responsibility.

When it comes to our online courses in PP+ we know that they are excellent quality through the people that we involve to develop them and the feedback that we get from participants. However we do know that need to be externally accredited so we are working with several of the worlds most respected accrediting organisations and hope to have more concrete news on this in 2017.  Our ultimate aim is to have accreditation for all PP+ courses making them valuable to all participants where ever they may be in the world.

So, having said all that in 2017, we plan to:

  • Develop a sustainable model for ensuring quality Physiopedia content.
  • Update the Physiopedia website to be more user friendly and mobile responsive (we need help with this).
  • Run a free open online course, rumours are that it is on Clubfoot (we need help with this).
  • Run five 16 hour courses in Physiopedia Plus.
  • Gain external accreditation for all our online courses.
  • Streamline the PP+ service so that we can offer more continuing education and professional development opportunities.
  • Run volunteer orientation courses in the Spring and Autumn.
  • Continue to develop partnerships with key forward thinking professional organisations that contribute to our mission.
  • Be attending WCPT Congress in Cap Town in July, we’ll have a stand, see you there!

So I’ve set us some ambitious goals again for this year and am excited about other opportunities that may arise throughout the year.  Have you set your professional goals yet for 2016?  How will you contribute to our profession this year?

Physiopedia can make this easy for you.  By making one of your 2017 goals a contribution to Physiopedia you will be making a contribution to your profession.  You will be helping us to become the best global example of a professional health care resource, helping us to educate others all over the world, as well as raising the our profession’s identity.  It doesn’t need to take up much of your time, here are some ideas:

  • Share this post!
  • Tell your colleagues about us.
  • Use Physiopedia for your in-service training.
  • Create or update just one page in Physiopedia in your area of expertise.
  • Become a volunteer.
  • Join our new education team to develop global learning opportunities.
  • Become a Voices editor on Physiospot our online magazine.
  • Set up a Project with your university students.
  • Create a project and professional development opportunity for your organisation members, similar to the PPA.
  • National professional associations, talk to us!  There are many ways in which we can collaborate for mutual benefits.
  • Mention us on Twitter or share our Facebook posts with your friends and colleagues.

Let me know what you decide to do and I will share each and every one of your contributions on our Twitter and Facebook pages.  Thank you in advance for getting involved, together in 2017 we can achieve amazing things!