Quality Assurance Strategy

Original Editor - Your name will be added here if you created the original content for this page.

Top Contributors - Kim Jackson, Amanda Ager and Rachael Lowe  

Introduction

Physiopedia is a UK based charity, not for profit organisation, that was launched in 2009 and is now the largest online physiotherapy resource in the world, and supports over 2 million page visits per month. Part of Physiopedia's success lies within its foundation as a wiki (Wikipedia for physiotherapists), a style of website which allows users to easily edit and contribute to its content. As such, Physiopedia has evolved into an extensive online encyclopaedia where qualified physiotherapists and physiotherapy students (under supervision), can make contributions in order to continuously improve the site content and promote evidence-based practice.

Physiopedia is dedicated to offering a high quality, content driven pages, for knowledge users, clinicians and researchers alike. Therefore, a quality assurance strategy is necessary to assure a certain level of academic and clinical accountability for Physiopedia content. In order to meet its aims and objectives of improving health globally by advancing education in relation to physiotherapy and improving access to physiotherapy knowledge there are many strategies and policies in place.

The following outlines both quality assurance strategies and quality improvement strategies employed by Physiopedia. The quality assurance (QA) strategy seeks to prevent, detect and correct problems in the quality of services provided to the knowledge users of Physiopedia. The quality improvement (QI) strategy attempts to improve the quality of Physiopedia, through the continuous monitoring and modification of the services being provided.

Assurance Strategies

Trustees

The Physiopedia Trustees have responsibility for the control and direction of the affairs of the charity. The Trustees are supported in their governance function by the Advisory Council. Detailed objectives are set to deliver against organisation goals in a strategic plan that is reviewed every two years. The objectives are decided by the Trustees with priorities and aims incorporated from the Advisory Council.

The Trustees receive no remuneration for their duties.

Advisory Council

The Physiopedia Advisory Council has been set up to provide professional, globally relevant and project related advice and information to the Physiopedia Trustees. The members of the Advisory Council are respected individuals that bring a unique set of skills and experience together to support the Physiopedia charity and help it achieve its aims.

The Advisory Council receive no remuneration for their duties.

Content Manager

Physiopedia employs a part-time Content Manager whose role is to ensure the quality and improvement of the content on Physiopedia. The content manager is also responsible for:

  • Monitor all content changes on the Physiopedia website.
  • Developing the content review process and developing strategies to facilitate content review.
  • Managing content development projects.
  • Engaging researchers and topic specialists to contribute content.
  • Organising and facilitating volunteer orientation courses.
  • Managing contributions of and supporting all members of the volunteer team.
  • Facilitating the sharing of Physiopedia content.

Volunteers

Creating and editing Physiopedia content is no easy task and volunteers are enlisted to help with this mammoth task. In order to ensure that Physiopedia meets the needs of global physiotherapy community the site can only be edited by physiotherapists and students (under supervision). However before becoming a recognised volunteer there are certain criteria to be met, once a person has satisfied the criteria they are then invited to participate in a Volunteer Orientation Course.

Once a volunteer has completed their training programme they will be welcomed on the team where they will be:

  • Encouraged through our appraisal system. The first appraisal will take place 6 months after completing the course and thereafter appraisals will take place once a year. Each year a volunteer is on the team they will be awarded a badge.
  • Supported on a daily basis through our communication and feedback system. For daily news, queries, updates and general chats we have a specific organisation communication platform and every month we hold an online meeting that every volunteer is welcome to attend. As volunteers are located all over the world we hold meetings at various times to enable people to participate.
  • Valued and appreciated. All contributions are greatly appreciated and each member of the team will be entitled to free access to Physioplus for all their training and development needs.
  • Rewarded for outstanding effort and contributions. For those volunteers that go above and beyond their efforts will be recognised through our awards system.

See the full list of our current volunteers.

Quality Standards

With so many volunteers and contributors around the globe we obviously want to make sure that the quality of the content that is created meets standards allowing everyone to achieve excellent work. In order to assist in the highest standards we have created some guides and tutorial pages. This ensures that everyone has the best support to produce high quality content.

Feedback

Feedback is encouraged amongst all members of the team and also from users of the site, both professionals and the public. Feedback amongst the team is facilitated through our specific online communication platform and at monthly meetings. Feedback from site users can be submitted via the contact form. All comments received are individually reviewed and responded to.

Content Projects

As well as pages created by volunteers we also encourage collaboration with physiotherapy related organisations such as universities, clinics and member associations. Through these collaborations we encourage the development of projects based around a theme or topic. To ensure high standards and uniformity we have established special guides and tutorials to assist educators, project leaders and project developers to guide through every step of creation and publication.

Improvement Strategies

We understand that the needs of the Physiopedia community is constantly changing as is the evidence that supports practice and it is our mission to continue to grow and evolve in response to those needs. That is why as well as quality assurance we also want to ensure the site is continually improving. There are several strategies in place to guide the development and growth of the Physiopedia site and community.

Topic of the Month

Each month a topic is chosen for the team to review. During this time the volunteers will focus on updating pages centred around the chosen topic; this enables us to keep improving all of our existing pages as well as create new ones. The team will check articles against the Quality Standards as well as ensuring that the latest evidence has been referenced.

Topic Specialists

Physiopedia is in the process of developing a volunteer structure for topic specialities. A Physiopedia volunteer with a specialised background will be assigned to one or more of the specialist areas. In order to qualify as topic specialist it is important that there is evidence of the contribution of previously peer-reviewed and published material from other sources or a proven track record of publishing quality evidence based articles in Physiopedia.  See a list of our current topic specialists.

Research Specialists

In order to ensure that we keep our pages updated with the latest evidence we have created specific roles available to volunteers who are orange belt or above:

1. Research Manager - responsible for adding the research identified in the Latest MSK and Latest Specialities to Physiopedia pages every month

2. Guidelines Manager - this post involves sourcing all new guidelines and adding them to Physiopedia pages

Feedback

Several methods exist for knowledge users to ask questions and engage with Physiopedia. We encourage knowledge users and volunteers to contact us with updates, required changes or suggestions as to how to make our content better. It is our goal to respond to inquiries by email within 48 hours and to provide proof of any changes made.

Statistical Analysis

In order to meet the needs of our users, according to our data protection policy, we gather data from users visiting the site. With users all over the world this data can inform content development to satisfy the clinical and educational needs of the global physiotherapy profession.