"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, July 7, 2009

Ten Questions for Physical Therapists

Are we ready to answer our patients questions?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) says that Questions are the Answer (to asymmetrical information?) and this series of videos provides a humorous and helpful pathway to asking questions of your health care provider.

This one is funny:

This one is ironic:

This one is musical:

A physical therapists' patient might ask the following 10 questions:
  1. Why does my body part hurt?

  2. How do you know what's wrong with me?

  3. What's wrong with me?

  4. How long will it take?

  5. How much will it cost?

  6. How much better will I be if I do physical therapy instead of surgery?

  7. Should therapy hurt before it feels better?

  8. Is it normal to get depressed and frustrated during therapy?

  9. Should I expect insurance to pay for all of the therapy I need to get my old life back?

  10. If I don't feel better in the expected time frame - will you refer me to another therapist who may be able to help more?
If physical therapists can routinely answer patient questions (especially cost) we will be in a much better position to determine our future - professionally and financially.

10 questions every patient should ask - from AHRQ

These are the questions from the AHRQ website that every medical patient should ask - obviously rehabilitation patients should ask sufficiently different questions that they deserve their own list.
  1. What is the test for?
  2. How many times have you done this?
  3. When will I get the results?
  4. Why do I need this surgery?
  5. Are there any alternatives to surgery?
  6. What are the possible complications?
  7. Which hospital is best for my needs?
  8. How do you spell the name of that drug?
  9. Are there any side effects?
  10. Will this medicine interact with medicines that I'm already taking?

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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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.