Is Your Allied Health Service Making a Difference?

Life Changing Outcomes Are Worth Shouting About.

The December 2023 NDIS Review Report mentions the word ‘outcome’ 228 times. We love this and we know that Allied Health Business Owners love this too as they work tirelessly day after day to deliver life changing outcomes for their clients. We know that the work that we do not only changes lives but contributes significantly to the economy through keeping people in the workforce, through reducing hospitalisations, through improving peoples ability to participate in activities of their choosing. However, do we honestly make enough noise about the work we do and the outcomes we achieve with our clients? Do we make it clear to the community and the government that the investment made by individuals, government, health funds, insurance agencies and others is good value for money?  

We would have to argue that we don’t do this at all well and in our humble opinion, this is something that needs to change. Right now please, if you don’t mind.

The NDIS Review’s strongest message is that the government wants an NDIS that holds the entire ‘ecosystem’ more accountable for the services it’s funding and that it will be results that are expected. This messaging has been lurking in the background for quite some time and it could have implications for payment and potentially the way in which preferred providers are established. The message is now loud and clear and we need to become comfortable with the requirement to prove that what we provide makes a measurable, life enhancing difference.  

This will likely form the basis for significant reform to the NDIS and it’s not a stretch to see that other funding schemes might follow quickly behind. 

Let’s hear it for good clinical governance! 

As Allied Health Professionals, we take it as a given that the treatments, interventions, modifications, capacity building, training and skill building that we do doesn’t just make a small change so that we can tick the box, but the actual functional difference to life that our clients are asking for. How good are we at firstly, recording our clients’ goals and achieved outcomes, and secondly, showcasing those results? 

We get the sense that the government is questioning its current and future investment in Allied Health within the NDIS. There is an annoyingly pervasive narrative focused on the NDIA hourly rate for therapy being ‘above market rate’ and generally too high. The evidence for this doesn’t really hold water outside of a government department meeting room and does not consider the nuances of business models and circumstances (the free market generally enables pricing to take these things into account – price capping does not occur in a free market). We cannot control how the decision makers gather, analyse and interpret their data but we CAN control the messaging that we put forward to the public. 

We have a choice here – are we going to despair and groan at the mainstream, potentially less informed, negative commentary or are we going to seize the opportunity to demonstrate the value of our support by simply measuring and showcasing the outcomes that we support our clients to achieve? 

We say MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE, then ROAR about your successes. 

Thank you to Everyday Independence, who have paved the way by showcasing in an epic manner a wide range of well-rounded life changing client outcomes. We encourage you to check out their readable, authentic and balanced service success stories.  

Client Success Story in Action

Let’s consider one such case study from the Everyday Independence library.  

This case study describes an Early Childhood NDIS Participant who had been supported via the Key Worker model. Her goal, according to the article, is to learn to express her emotions. The achieved outcome was that the little one was now verbally expressing herself and an additional outcome achieved was more regulated behaviour along with improved engagement in her daily routine. 

This outcome has been described in the article in terms of a qualitative measure which we can assume was noted via observation and parent / teacher feedback, but it’s possible that the team measured this in a more quantitative way too. The massive benefit to this is that it provides direct, numerical evidence that the work of the team is making a positive difference to the lives of their clients – and if this is built into a system this data can be pulled at any time that it would be beneficial for evidence to be presented – such as when recommendations are being made or to congratulate your team for good work. 

Some of the features of these stories that we like are: 

  • The use of Plain English. 
  • Short text – maybe 150 words. 
  • An engaging real-life image. 
  • A statement of the goal and a description of the outcome. 

These case studies are only possible if your business is conducting efficient and accurate, person-centred, goal setting and engaging in some sort of outcome measurement. 

Reflecting on Your Business Practice 

If you’re now thinking SMART goals and goal orientated measurable services you’re probably on the right track, but we aren’t going down that clinical governance rabbit hole today.  

Are you able to find the right information about outcome measurement that’s relevant for your business? Feel free to jump into our Facebook community, Private Practice Made Perfect where we will be having ongoing discussions about this topic and will be dropping information and links to help our tribe along. 

We’d love to know what else you feel that you need to embed this into your business, throw us a Facebook message or an email at any time. 

Collating your data 

Gathering a larger snapshot of how the team are travelling with supporting their clients in the achievement of outcomes is a little more difficult. We dream of such critical outcome measures being aggregated and automated in a live and efficient process. Most Client Management Systems are not built with this feature in mind (yet!), however given that the NDIS is shifting focus to become far more targeted on proven outcomes we are likely to see the more progressive and agile CRM developers quickly add this feature to their products. We are typing with fingers crossed on this one. 

In the meantime, what can your business implement to try and capture some larger data sets to contribute to the evidence base? 

Our Challenge to You 

Let’s circle back to where we started. Allied Health Professionals are providing remarkable and life changing services to the clients your businesses serve.  

What steps can you take THIS WEEK to build the evidence base and valued positive life impact of allied health services? Let’s flood the public space with our value to our clients and the Australian economy. 

We are respectfully challenging you to dig deep and write up one short and sweet client success story and post it across your social media channels. This week. Please feel free to tag Nacre Consulting, Cathy Love and Chantelle Robards and we will jump in with likes and comments to support the reach of your post. How refreshing to be able to own our narrative more assertively by celebrating the positive client outcomes achieved with great Allied Health Practitioners and Providers. We are supporting our members to tell the world about their brilliance every day and you are always welcome to join our Nacre tribe. More information about how to do that at this link.

Reaching out to the Nacre Team 

We invite you to join our Facebook Community at Private Practice Made Perfect. 

Call us at no cost and no obligation by making an appointment at this link


Chantelle Robards
Chantelle Robards has a long history with supporting the NDIS marketplace through provision of technical information and advocacy. As a speech pathologist who continues to support a small caseload she has comprehensive insight into the business community especially with regards to the NDIS. Chantelle's ultimate goal is to ensure an ethical and thriving market place that provides the very best of support to all Australians who are seeking it.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify

Related Posts