As we go about our clinical day, we make many decisions that affect our patients. We change beliefs and expectations. We motivate. We have an impact on their outcomes.
I know from first hand experience both the fear and the humbleness required to stomach learning about my clinical performance. Functional assessment and outcomes data are becoming key components in evaluating results of care. Some of the presenters in the below sessions have been striving to really understand outcomes and how to improve outcomes.
I've always been a big fan of the work Gerard Brennan and Stephen Hunter have done. They are in a unique situation: they are in a system that has both payor data and clinical data. In other words, the payor is the provider of care. They are very lucky to be able to watch, analyze and learn first hand the affect physical therapists can have within a healthcare system.
Alan Jette and Michael Friedman are focused in acute care. Acute care has high pressures with regard to readmission rates and figuring out the appropriate discharge setting. The ability to predict and use data to drive decisions will help patients and their lives.
The new "push" in outcomes is beginning to attempt to address continuum of care. Many, many clinicians and researchers would like to have one measurement system or tool that can be used across the continuum of care. I have thought about this a lot. I'm honestly not sure this is realistic. Each setting, with its type of patients, has its own focus and need. The trend I have seen in research: the more generic the tool, the less responsive the tool in capturing change. Until that hurdle is overcome, I believe it is best to choose the tool that will provide the information you need to answer the specific question being asked.
FOTO is an outcomes measurement system that uses computer adaptive testing to reduce test burden and provides precise measuring. Not all measurement systems are equal. Think about your needs and make sure you have the right systems in place that fit your needs.