Health care is a rapidly changing environment and it is important that, as therapists, we keep up with the pace. In keeping with the time, many insurance carriers are moving toward outcome based systems. This was reinforced with the recent signing of the IMPACT Act on October 6th, 2014.
An outcome based model requires the delivery of the highest quality of care along with outcomes and documentation that reflects objective progress in order to prove the efficacy of our treatments. The use of standardized functional assessments allow therapists to clearly document progress across time highlighting the objective changes noted from evaluation to discharge. Additional benefits of standardized functional assessments include:
Evidence based practice
- Reliable & valid
- Supports medical necessity of services
- Produce objective data
- Quantify risk (i.e. fall risk)
- Efficacy of treatment
- Improved functional outcomes
- Improved patient satisfaction
Standardized functional assessments also assist in clinical decision making by helping identify deficits/impairments, determine prognosis, establish goals, plan treatment interventions, measure progress, assist in communication and discharge planning. The decision on which standardized functional assessment(s) to utilize is determined by the clinician and is based on several factors such as: clinical setting, type of deficit(s), diagnosis, environmental factors, and additional pertinent patient specific information gathered during the evaluation. The therapist then selects the tool(s) that best fits the individual situation.
As an employee of Functional Pathways, refer to the Program Manual where you will find the “Clinical Assessment” Pathway. This Pathway contains a variety of standardized tests available for use.