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Written by: Bob Habasevich, PT on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 Posted in: Inpatient Rehab

Following the FIM™ chat as I do, one cannot help but question why clinicians are so reluctant to assess and record patient functional status. After all it is the thermometer of rehab describing the current status of all the patient problems we manage in an IRF. And yet it always seems to be a burden with little value returned.

I am continually amazed by the nurses who are held to the standard of using FIM™ documentation once per shift or three times per day.  That is a lot of FIM™ data, what do they do with it?

Mediware performed an analysis of the frequency of FIM™ observations recorded in the MediLinks clinical record to get a sense of how the industry performs. Interestingly, it was not what we anticipated and based upon a limited sample of providers we are not suggesting it is representative of anything more than the providers who asked for the analysis.

To be clear, practices vary widely when it comes to how to run a rehab program and capturing FIM™ observations is no exception. The analysis of frequency of FIM™ items rated demonstrates that cognitive items are rated more frequently than motor items.  Frequency of observations for motor items also demonstrates preferences in use with locomotion items and tub / shower transfers occurring least frequently in clinical use.


Check out one of Bob’s most popular blog posts discussing when FIM™ ratings are reliable.

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