"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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Open Notes Can be Transformational for Physical Therapy

I've been using video to record the patient experience in my outpatient physical therapy clinic for several years. I've never shared that video via the internet with my patient. But, the technology to do that now is simple.

Further, patient functional status, vital signs, objective tests - all these can be shared via the electronic medical record in the physical therapists' clinic.

Watch this video below to see how OpenNotes can change lives and improve health care, including physical therapy:


I posted on OpenNotes here.

Some of the ways I think OpenNotes can help physical therapists include the following:

  • Reduce overblown estimates of "Fraud and Abuse" that are due to good, smart hardworking therapists working in a stupid system.
  • Increase patient involvement and compliance with their plan of care. 
  • Improve therapist productivity that is whittled away working on archaic, frequently handwritten, narrative summaries of the patient experience.
  • Pass control and responsibility for the rehabilitative process from the therapist to the patient. 
  • Increase the role of the "coach" and the "mentor" played by the physical therapist. 
  • Reduce the administrative burden (currently 100%) borne by the therapist for the creation of the patient record. 

Do you think OpenNotes of some sort could improve physical therapy?


Please leave a comment.

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"

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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.