Outcomes are what the professions of therapy have been built on. Patients with disease or deficit seek the professions of rehabilitation in order to gain improvement in their function. The measurement of improvement takes on many different purposes and we have hundreds of ‘tools’ to validate specific gains or losses based on the use of these tools. With the recent mandate for functional impairment coding to be included in billing files for Medicare patients, Mediware staff have been asked numerous times to ‘suggest’ what tools to use for various types of patients. This answer should be based on practice patterns and recommendations of the professionals using the tools rather than our humble opinion as a company without enough information to guide best practices.
I found a Case Report this month in the APTA, PT Journal, October 2013, Volume 93, that discusses outcome measures for individuals specifically with stroke. It is highly useful as they compare and contrast more than 50 measures of body structure/function, activity and participation. The task force panel developed recommendations on a four point rating scale by care setting, patient acuity, research and for inclusion in professional education per their article. It a great article and resource and we should look for more along these lines as we try to answer best practice recommendations for use of outcomes tools.
The need to collaborate, discuss preference and use of various measures is at an all time high. The more information gathered about preference and use of outcome measurements allows professional debate and continued discussions over recommended tools. We at Mediware are very interested in you and YOUR STAFF’S preferences on outcomes tool use. For that reason, we have developed a very quick OUTCOMES USE SURVEY and we hope to gather as many responses as possible during the next several weeks to help recognize which tools are being utilized most often and by which disciplines for specific patient types.
The results will be shared here in a blog, and perhaps within a white paper and will certainly help us to guide and provide improved content and REPORTS to assist your practices where volume and need are demonstrated. With enough volume, the potential to share at many venues is possible, but we need your help!
Stay tuned, stay connected and check out our NEW G-Code App free at this link and available at both the Google Play and iTunes stores!