In the Pursuit of Excellence: Reframing Your Clinical Education Program


As stakeholders in clinical education, we are in constant battle with finding the balance between productivity levels and our work with students. Questions have been raised about the value of the student presence in the clinic and future plans are uncertain. With concerns from multiple parties quickly peaking, the 2014 Clinical Education Summit and the 2015 Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) convened to discuss contemporary challenges in clinical education, recommendations for harmonization and innovation, develop consensus, and emphasize the need for excellence in the work ahead. Since those meetings, the physical therapy profession has taken significant steps to initiate a shared vision of excellence in clinical education; however, in spite of these efforts much work lies ahead. Therefore, the purpose of this educational session is to utilize current evidence, a social constructivist framework, and novel business concepts to promote innovation and excellence in clinical education.
With respect to the Clinical Education Summit’s recommendations, this proposal focuses on reframing clinical education partnership to promote excellence and innovation in best practices. These stakeholders- Directors of Clinical Education (DCEs)/Academic Coordinators of Clinical Education (ACCEs), Center Coordinators of Clinical Education (CCCEs), Clinical Instructors (CIs), and Clinical Administrators are the recognized leaders in clinical education and need to collaborate to lead change. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of what a DCE/ACCE and CCCE/CI does in a given work day. Therefore, this educational session will lay a foundation of understanding, as well as dispel misperceptions, of the respective roles. Then, the session will encourage clinicians and academicians to gain traction, develop innovations, and move clinical education forward to a new paradigm of excellence.
With respect to ELC’s implicit call for innovation, this proposal links innovation to excellence through the use of a scorecard, a business tool used to help companies achieve strategic objectives. Currently, decisions to place students in the clinic often focus on concerns related to productivity; but the problem with this focus is that budgets alone don’t account for how this relationship is linked to a company’s long-term strategic objectives. The scorecard is a mechanism that augments traditional financial benchmarks with performance in nonfinancial areas, such as customer relationships, quality care, and continued learning linked to growth. It is these nonfinancial areas that add value to the services provided and have the potential to link student presence in the clinic and a culture of shared responsibility for clinical education with commitment to furthering the strategic agenda of the organization. Metrics related to financial performance, patient care measures, and clinical education can be routinely observed and balanced in order to concurrently drive value added patient care and excellence in clinical education.
In summary, this educational session will help stakeholders move closer to finding the balance needed between clinical practice demands and clinical education needs. The balance will better align the long-term objectives of the key stakeholders and help add value to partnerships between academic and clinical settings.

Methods and/or Description of Project

Prior to the session, we will perform pre-conference interviews with key clinical education stakeholders including both a DCE and CCCE/CI to capture deeper perspectives of their daily routines. Questions will specifically focus on describing a common “day in the life,” the challenges and successes of their work, and perceptions of their counterparts. The video interviews will be in 2-3 minute segments and interwoven into web-based polling of the participant’s to the same questions. This will accelerate the audience’s ability to grasp a greater appreciation of what key stakeholders face on a daily basis.
With this groundwork laid, the scorecard, its potential uses, and value-based clinical education will be examined using examples from case studies to illustrate its usefulness. For example, a scorecard can be used to translate a vision statement of a clinical site. If a clinic articulates its vision as “being a leader in providing excellent patient care to the community,” it must define what drives excellent patient care and reconcile divergent views, including views on the value of clinical partnerships with academic programs and the presence of students in the clinic. It must choose measures that integrate both financial and nonfinancial metrics to monitor and manage progress toward the strategic objective. Following this, participants will be asked to participate in round table discussions to apply the content shared and develop self-established, actionable scorecard ideas that can be implemented immediately following the conference.
During the conclusion of the educational session, the presenters will offer the audience an opportunity to sign-up for a follow-up 3 to 6 months after ELC. The follow-up will provide self-requested accountability to implement their chosen scorecard action items. This modeling of continued partnership is fundamental to reframing clinical education through innovative concepts that add value to clinical education. Thus, taking steps toward excellence and advancing best practices in clinical education and ultimately clinical practice.


This educational session supports clinical education excellence and innovation as evidenced by participants achieving a greater insight into a "day in the life" of clinical stakeholders to enhance future interactions.Having both DCEs and a CCCE presenting this program will illustrate varying viewpoints that will add to this insight. They will also understand how to implement a scorecard tool that will move their clinical programs toward excellence as well as engage and network in the session due to the learning formats used. Lastly, self-imposed accountability can occur where they may choose to have follow up contact to facilitate use of the tool and to answer questions.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

Participants will have a multi-modal learning experience. The presenters will provide a scorecard to empower participants to work towards excellence in both patient care and clinical education in their workplace or academic setting. The scorecard will promote change in current clinical education strategies in a manner that aligns with changes in value based patient care in the US healthcare system. Collectively, the information in this course will provide a roadmap to achieve excellence in clinical education that is not only needed, but necessary in order to achieve the innovation we desire.


American Council of Academic Physical Therapy Clinical Education Summit (October 12-13, 2014). Retreived 4/1/2016. Accessed April 1, 2016.
Buccieri KM; Schultze K; Dungey J; Kolodziej T; Malta S; Marocco S; Michaels JA; Stolove R. Self-reported characteristics of physical therapy clinical instructors: a comparison to the American Physical Therapy Association's Guidelines and Self-Assessments for Clinical Education. J Phys Ther Educ, Spring2006; 20(1): 47-55. (9p)
BuccieriKM.; Brown R; Malta S. Evaluating the performance of the academic coordinator/director of clinical education: tools to solicit input from program directors, academic faculty, and students. . J Phys Ther Educ, Spring2011; 25(2): 26-35. (10p)
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. 2012-2013 Fact Sheet Physical Therapist Education Programs. 2012-134. Available at: Accessed July 13, 2015.
Grigoroudis E, Orfanoudaki E, Zopounidis C. Strategic performance measurement in a healthcare organisation: A multiple criteria approach based on balanced scorecard. Omega. 2012;40(1):104-119.
Gwyer J, Odom C, Gandy J. History of clinical education in physical therapy in the United States. J Phys Ther Educ. 2003;17(3):34–43.
Higgs J. Managing clinical education: the programme. Physiotherapy. 1993;79(4):239–246.
Huang, H. (2002). Toward constructivism for adult learners in online learning environments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 27-37.
Kaplan RS, Norton DP. Putting the balanced scorecard to work. Performance measurement, management, and appraisal sourcebook. 1995;66:17511.
Kelly S. The exemplary clinical instructor: a qualitative case study. J Phys Ther Educ. 2007;21(1):63-69.
McCallum CA, Mosher PD, Jacobson PJ, Gallivan SP, Giuffre SM. Quality in physical therapist clinical education: A systematic review. Phys Ther. 2013: 93(10): 1298-131.
Musolino G, Thiele A, Petrosino C, Dunfee H. Take this job and love it: the everyday nuts and bolts. Presentation at the 2009 APTA Combined Sections Meeting: Education Section Programming.
Pivko SE.; Abbruzzese LD.; Duttaroy P; HansenRL; Ryans K. Effect of Physical Therapy Students' Clinical Experiences on Clinician Productivity. J Allied Health. 2016; 45(1): 33-40(8).
Salzman A. Portraits of persistence: professional development of successful directors of clinical education. . J Phys Ther Educ, Spring2009; 23(1): 44-54. (11p)
Trotta A, Cardamone E, Cavallaro G, Mauro M. Applying the Balanced Scorecard approach in teaching hospitals: a literature review and conceptual framework. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2013;28(2):181-201.
Wetherbee E, Peatman N, Kenney D, Cusson M, Applebaum D. Standards for Clinical Education: A Qualitative Study. J Phys Ther Educ. 2010;24(3):35.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will:
-Understand the successes and challenges for both the CCCE/CI and the DCE in their daily routines.
-Identify common clinical education strategic objectives that can be monitored to add value to patient care and clinical education experiences.
-Design a scorecard to promote strategic goals that support concepts of value added clinical education.
-Implement actionable steps immediately following this educational session to assist in enhancing their current clinical education experiences.
-Utilize the scorecard to monitor performance on goals that advance partnerships through value based clinical education programming.
-Assess progress toward the self-established action steps through follow up from the presenters three to six months following ELC.

Instructional Methods

The instructional methods Include multimedia/multimodal touchpoints in order to reach learners across various preferred learning styles using a social constructivist theoretical framework. The presentation begins with lecture which is followed by video clips of key stakeholders. An interactive touchpoint occurs next with PollEverywhere. Both will require internet access. Next, there will be small group discussion with use of roundtables to promote content application and networking. The round tables’ collective work will be posted onto the sticky notes on the walls of the session room. From there, the empowered participants will choose if they would like a 3-6 month follow up from the presenters to assess progress towards the actionable step commitment made during the session.

Tentative Outline/Schedule

0 - 5 minutes (5minutes): Introductions, purpose and background information
5 - 20 minutes (15 minutes): Background with “A Day in the life” videos and audience
20 -45 minutes (25 minutes): Value-based clinical education and scorecard model
45 – 65 minutes (20 minutes): Roundtables
65 - 80 minutes (10 minutes): Summary of round tables
80 - 85 minutes (10 minutes): Conclusion/follow up
85 – 90 minutes (5 minutes): Questions and answers

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 2510019
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Chalee Engelhard, Amy Both, Tonya Apke, Christine McCallum, Alison Pollacek
  • Keywords:

BACK to Abstract Results