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Abstract

The Allied Health Evaluation Review: Practice and Education Infrastructure was a detailed review of the practice progress of twenty-seven allied health professions. The key objectives of the evaluation review were to determine each profession’s practice status, measured on a common set of parameters that could be compared to one another at a given point in time, and to identify what variables, if any, were correlated with the practice progress of a given profession. Practice benchmarks were established and tools were developed to measure the practice progress of each profession relative to the others at a given point in time. The tools included a practice leader survey, focus group questions, an education infrastructure questionnaire, a job description scoring tool, and an overall scoring guide. At the end of the review, each profession was evaluated on the same scoring criteria and placed on a six-point ordinal scale. Acceptable practice progress was set at or above four out of six. Only thirty-three percent of the professions had scores above the established threshold. Scatter plots were developed to determine which practice variables, if any, were positively correlated with the practice progress of the profession. Many variables were not significantly correlated with a profession’s composite score, including size of the profession, number of areas of practice, use of support personnel, regulatory status, and physician oversight. Two variables were positively correlated with practice progress: clinical linkages, and practice leadership and practice education infrastructure; both correlations were statistically significant. Due to the importance of these two variables, it is recommended that future development and investment should be targeted at establishing and strengthening clinical linkages (e.g., profession-specific practice councils) and practice leadership across a profession, as well as practice education infrastructure. Future research could validate the tools that were developed and determine if investment in the professions, as outlined, improves their overall practice performance.

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