Variation in PT Care

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Erik Lineberry 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5428

    Erik Lineberry

    I skimmed this a few weeks ago and was reminded of it recently when discussing the variability of PT’s examinations. It is a brief synopsis from a NEXT lecture by Tara Jo Manal, PT, DPT, FAPTA on the challenges of the variability of care in Physical Therapy.

    I still have mixed feelings about how much we should push for standardizing care. I see the benefit from a payer perspective and maximize the value of our care, but I still see the possibility that this could “swing the pendulum” so far that our care could become too check-list based. Manal addresses this and is certainly not indicating that is what she wants to happen. I think we could benefit as a profession by decreasing the variability of care we provide, but I think we need to be careful at how we seek to accomplish this. I think there are fair points on both sides and it is a great topic for discussion.

    Do you think that variability of examination and/or treatment is a major issue in Physical Therapists’ care?

    Do you think we should adopt some standardized ways to approach certain conditions?

    Do you have any examples of how clinicians’ differing treatments or examination approaches have hindered/enhanced a patient’s outcomes?

  • #5504

    Kyle Feldman

    I think this is an interesting point Eric.

    It is true that the best way to advance as a profession is to unite and do the same thing. Power of numbers. I agree 100% with that idea. However, I do not think that we really should have that much lack of variability.

    The biggest thing I have learned the past few years is that every patient does not get better with one treatment style. Each patient has different needs from a healthcare provider. Skill of the therapist, personality compatibility, clinic model, and even male vs female are all factors that have nothing to do with what exam or treatment we use. With that said, we want our profession to have a model that promotes sound care and something everyone would be proud of in the profession.

    I do feel strongly that CAPTE has worked hard to make sure a new graduate is coming out with some manual skills, some ther ex, general medicine understanding, and safety skills. Once a student comes out we can only hope they continue down the evidence based approach.

    Sadly, some people graduate and do not have the confidence to perform some of the skills demanded in the profession so they seek “alternative” ways to treat patients. I feel this track is what decreases the unity. If we work to increase the continuing education programs that teach the evidence based skills better, we will have less people jumping towards the “guru” less studied styles.

    instead of blaming the clinicians who are just trying to treat patients and get them better, I think we should look at the standards for continuing education programs to make sure that they are meeting the standards of our professions clinical pillars

    • #5506

      Erik Lineberry

      I think that is a great way to have a positive effect on this issue. CEU courses vary greatly and I think it can be a significant challenge to find quality courses. I have started to seek out courses to take over the next year and was surprised at how difficult it can be to find high-quality offerings.

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