What is PSPN?

The PSPN, primary spine practitioner network, is a company whose primary purpose is to train and support health care providers to become PSPs – primary spine practitioners. The PSPN will also help to partner PSPs with health care practices, systems and organizations. In addition the PSPN will function as a forum to exchange information about best practice in spine care.

The Primary Spine Practitioner (PSP) has the necessary knowledge base and skill set to evaluate and manage the majority of patients with spine related conditions based upon best available evidence, and in a patient centered model of care.

The future of health care will demand 3 primary goals be achieved: better care (improved clinical outcomes), better cost (these improved results will have to be achieved at a more reasonable cost to the system), better experience (these improved results at a lower cost will have to maintain high patient satisfaction). While a tall order to fill, we believe spine care, filled with inefficiencies (overuse, misuse, underuse), provides the opportunity to achieve these goals. What is needed is a health care provider who can apply best available evidence consistently and confidently in a model which places the patient at the center.

Spine care presents some very unique challenges to the practitioner: the lack of a clearly defined pathoanatomical lesion in the majority of cases, the influence of psychosocial factors in the origin and perpetuation of spine related disorders, the lack of training in general practitioners regarding spine conditions.

While there exist numerous guidelines for the management of spine related disorders, we also know that dispersion and implementation of this best available evidence is sorely lacking.

In addition, for those systems that have developed ‘spine centers’, our experience has been that these centers have been very provider-centric: the system decides what type of providers they have available or can procur, and then attempt to design a best practice model of spine care around the practitioners, only adding the patients after the model is established.

The PSP works in a model in which the patient is placed in the center of the room, a pathway for the effective and efficient evaluation and management of the patient is determined based upon best available evidence, the skill set necessary to deliver this care is determined, and only then is the provider best suited to carry out this mission added.

Why a PSP Network?

The PSP requires a specific skill set to carry out the mission of evaluating and managing common spine related disorders with better outcomes, lower cost and high patient satisfaction:

a. Broad education in anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnosis
b. Strong background in musculoskeletal disorders
c. Ability to order and interpret imaging (MRI, X-Ray, CT) and laboratory information
d. Ability to apply a variety of manual techniques to spine conditions (mobilization, manipulation, traction, McKenzie, soft tissue techniques, postural correction, rehabilitative exercise)
e. Keen understanding of psychosocial aspects of spine related conditions
f. Ability to empower the patient to become independent of practitioners
g. Knowledge of all treatment options available to the patient
h. Ability to engage in shared decision making with the patient
i. Ability to communicate with other health care providers
j. Ability to engage the patient in motivational interviewing
k. Ability to engage the patient in lifestyle modification for spine related co-morbidities such as quit smoking, lose weight, begin exercising, practice stress management

While several health provider groups have the foundation to become a PSP, some additional training will be necessary, and a formal PSP Network provides the forum to receive this training in a consistent fashion

PSPN provides a forum for PSPs to interact and share their experiences about what works most effectively and efficiently

PSPN provides a forum to learn of job opportunities