PARACLETE PHYSICAL THERAPY
Paraclete Physical Therapy Services
Podiatric foot & ankle surgeons diagnose and treat patients with musculoskeletal diseases and conditions. They work with a number of health care professionals to provide follow-up care after an initial diagnosis has been made. Physical therapy as a profession developed due to the initiative of doctors specializing in the field of musculoskeletal medicine who sought to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of their patients through focused training in exercise. (1) Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants are an integral part of health care teams that improve patient outcomes. There are a number of models that exist for the collaborative delivery of physical therapy. These models include free-standing physical therapy centers, Physical Therapists acting as independent contractors within physicians’ office, and Physical therapists working as employees of physicians providing physical therapy as an in-office ancillary service (Physician Owned Physical Therapy Services (POPTS).
Quality of Care
Paraclete Physical Therapy, our POPTS group, gives our physicians a greater role in the physical therapy services provided to patients. In-office therapy allows therapists and physicians to work together as a team, exchanging information and sharing ideas. The frequency and immediacy of feedback allow for the fine-tuning of therapeutic protocols that serves to improve patient outcomes. A study comparing on-site physical therapy delivered in physician offices versus other sites concluded that patients who receive on-site physical therapy lose less time from work and resume normal duties more quickly.(2)
Frequent and timely feedback between therapists and physicians also reduces overutilization of services. For example: If the doctor deems the desired outcome to have been achieved, then services can be immediately discontinued; If the doctor determines another therapy modality is appropriate, then a shift can be made in a timely manner; If it appears that physical therapy is not yielding desired results, other therapeutic techniques, including surgery, can be considered.
Finally, the ability to exchange information on a patient in a frequent and timely fashion serves to reduce errors. According to a study, 70 to 80 percent of medical errors are related to interpersonal interaction issues.(3) Interpersonal interaction is critical to patient safety.
Access to Care
There are several places where patients can receive physical therapy services, including hospitals, large for-profit physical therapy corporations, smaller individually owned facilities and physician-owned facilities. POPTS offers patients direct and immediate access to Physical Therapists after the physician has seen them. Moreover, patients have the ability to schedule physician and physical therapy appointments in the same office. This eliminates the need for patients to travel to two different locations and prevents the fragmentation of patient care.
- Ethical Physical Therapy Association, http://222.ethicalpt.org/oppstrategy
- Hackett, GI; Blundred, P; Hutton, JL, O’Brien, J; Stanley, IM, Management of Joint and Soft Tissue Injuries In Three General Practices: Value of On-Site Physiotherapy, Br J Gen Pract. 1993 Feb; 43 (367): 61-64.
- Interdisciplinary Teamwork is a Key to Patient Safety in the Operating Room, ICU, and ER, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, available at 222.ahcpr.gov/research/jan04/0104RA25.htm.
- AAOS Position Statement 1166, http://www.aaos.org/about/papers/position/1166.asp.