"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, September 8, 2008

Informed Physical Therapists Diagnose using the ICF

Informed physical therapists can make a break with 'old school' models and advance the discussion of physical therapy diagnosis by taking a look at these new APTA resources for the new International Classification of Functioning.

'Old School' models, many of which I have used, include most of the mechanistic models we learned in PT school and at 'Hilton University' (some of you may have gone to 'Marriott U' or 'Holiday Inn U').

To name a few...

The Facet Joint
The Disc (...is a jelly doughnut)
Sacroiliac joint
McConnell taping

Now, with ICF, you can abandon models and just treat the patient.

This new paradigm (new to me since 2001) allows the physical therapist to measure characteristics of the patient that may impact function and apply treatments without regard to the mechanism.

Ah, freedom.

Freedom from justifying my treatments to other PTs, PTA's, patients or payers. If I get my patient better - who cares how I did it or what technique I used?

The power in the ICF model is that I can find freedom while a different PT or PTA can find meaning in a different way.

The ICF is a framework - not a blueprint.

I practice orthopedic PT but the ICF is equally appropriate for neuro PTs.

Use my templates and watch my videos to see how I use the ICF to inform PT orthopedic decision-making.

Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

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.