FOTO Rehab Outcomes Blog

Rehabilitation Data: What's Relevant?

Written by Selena Horner | Jun 16, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Rehabilitation professionals mainly focus on helping their patients return to life. "Life" refers to some level of function. The key metric rehabilitation professionals manage is function. Relevant data will revolve around an episode of care.What are the key factors to consider about an episode of care?

1. Patient Self-report Measurement Scores: It isn't enough to rely on a clinician's objective findings to determine change. One reason is the lack of standardization in assessing patients. Another reason is lack of inter-rater reliability. These weaknesses create difficulty to accurately capture change. A solution relies on patient reported outcome measures. Patient self-report measures are considered the gold standard in measuring outcomes.

2. Functional Change:  Since the main goal in rehabilitation is to improve a patient's level of function, a highly important metric is the amount of functional change that occurs during an episode of care. The science of patient self-report measures has changed substantially. These measures were first used in the 1970's. Although the original measures are familiar, these measures have not lasted the test of time. These measures are burdensome and are not focused on the individual patient. A highly important factor when it comes to functional change is using a measure that is highly responsive in capturing change. The best measures that are highly responsive are assessments that use computer adaptive testing. Computer adaptive testing also enhances the patient's experience.

3. Risk Adjusted Data:  The risk adjustment process is important for a few reasons. It is no longer reasonable to only focus on the individual patient when it comes to data. The key for quality improvement lies on aggregated data. Aggregated data is meaningless without a good risk adjustment process. Risk adjustment allows for fair comparison of clinicians, clinics and companies. The fair comparison occurs because individual patient factors that affect outcomes are considered when predicting the final outcome of the episode of care.

4. Number of Visits:  It isn't enough to only know how much a patient's level of function changed. The number of visits required for the amount of change is also quite relevant. From a patient perspective, it helps engage the patient to communicate the expected commitment for desired change. From a payer's perspective it helps determine cost of care.

Science has grown in the area of measuring rehabilitation outcomes. It is no longer a do-it-yourself kind of task. Computer adaptive testing, risk adjusted data, predictive modeling and benchmark reports that provide a national comparison of performance requires a measurement and management system. 

If you are looking for a product that will give you all the right rehabilitation data, look no further. Please talk to Judy Holder about how FOTO can help.

Until next time,
~Selena