"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How to use the OPTIMAL scale

This video demonstrates the OPTIMAL scale for the initial step in physical therapy diagnosis.

If you don't have written copyright permission to use the OPTIMAL (available for free from the APTA here)then you can use any other functional scale you like. You can even make up your own.

The OPTIMAL is my preference because it is 'recommended' by Medicare. Also, the psychometric properties of the OPTIMAL have been described, including descriptive statistics, measures of reliability, validity and responsiveness. Read the full text article here

Once you have the patient-identified functional limitations you can formulate your clinical hypotheses.

You take measurements in order to support or refute your hypothesis.

You design your plan of care based upon the measured impairments you discover in the course of your evaluation.

You re-measure the impairments to assess progress.

Ultimately, you re-measure the functional limitations (using the OPTIMAL).

The second OPTIMAL serves as a test of your original hypothesis.

Visit www.SimpleScore.com for video demonstrations of simple ways to measure common impairments in ROM and strength.

Free Tutorial

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

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American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.