"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

Monday, April 14, 2008

Diagnosis Definition

Physical Therapy Diagnosis blog describes my evolution as a physical therapist clinic owner and how I developed a Medicare compliance program based on clinical excellence and simple measurements.

Other physical therapists have done work on physical therapy diagnosis , some of which I'm able to share with you here.

Diagnosis Definition
by Lisa Giallonardo

"A diagnosis is a label based on a cluster of signs and symptoms after the collection, organization, and interpretation of information reached through the evaluation process. For the physical therapist, these are generally movement-related impairments or functional limitations. Sometimes, as in the case of the patient with the ankle sprain, the diagnosis is at the pathology level."
Lisa's definition comes from the book Techniques in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation by William Prentice and Michael Voight.

Most physical therapists (and physical therapist assistants) graduating today are comfortable with the notion of physical therapy diagnosis.

What about the 'old school' physical therapists? I graduated in 1992 from the University of Florida. I was never taught physical therapy diagnosis. I never learned about the disablement model in PT school.

What about you?

Where do you fall on this issue?

Vote in the poll below. Let us know how you feel. What do you think?

Comment on this blog if you feel strongly - either way, on physical therapy diagnosis.

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.