Recently, I read an article on the benefits of physical therapy for musicians. As a former music student, I found it interesting that I’d never thought about physical therapy to treat or prevent injury in relation to music performance.
Just like an athlete performs and may sustain injuries that require treatment from a physical therapist, so can a music performer sustain injuries. Musicians also have a drive to perform at their best, practice until perfection, and to play through the pain – even when aware they shouldn’t. They train. They have intense practice schedules. Music students and professionals put in hours straight of repetitive motion to perfect a single piece. The same phrases and finger movement again and again to perform it just 10 beats faster. Years of this routine may result in pain or injury.
National Physical Therapy Month offers an opportunity to seek new avenues to educate communities and promote services. Instead of reaching out only to the athletic departments at nearby high schools or colleges, look into music programs. Like me, local musicians may not be aware that physical therapy is an option for those hand, wrist, or neck pain problems. Offer wellness advice and educate about the benefits of physical therapy for managing or eliminating pain. Is there a music conservatory nearby? A university music program? City orchestra? Reach out and you may find yourself welcoming an entirely new type of patient.
How is your rehab department promoting physical therapy this October?
Is your rehab department maximizing its potential? This post is the fourth in a series. It’s based on some items RehabVisions focuses on when we manage therapy departments, but it’s also a conversation starter about things you could be doing differently.
#4 Have Quality Measurements and Document Outcomes
Clinical excellence should be a priority of your department and should be developed to ensure a patient’s needs and goals are met.
So how do you know if you are achieving excellence? The answer is through putting quality measurements in place and thoroughly documenting all patient outcomes. Your department should continually track quality measurements to gauge improvement in clinical and customer service quality.
RehabVisions’ Hospital Compliance Manager Brenda Kemling, PT said accurate documentation of outcomes is necessary to demonstrate and support evidence-based practice. “Outcomes provide data measurements to insurance companies that justify our payment and help shape future reimbursement models based on quality service,” she said
At RehabVisions, our compliance oversight helps therapists identify the best outcome measures to utilize for various patient populations and/or diagnoses. The use of outcome measures in our therapy practice is a fundamental component to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment interventions, provide accountability, and address quality of the therapy interventions we provide to our patients. Outcome data also assists the RehabVisions’ Operations Department in determining what types of additional training/education are needed for our therapists.
“The process of applying outcome measures and providing quality documentation creates a circular pattern of determining our success, proving our worth to insurance providers and others, and identifying areas for improvement,” Kemling said.
It is more important than ever before to objectively measure outcomes by specific, standardized measures that are used consistently throughout each patient’s episode of care. In the end, these results are crucial to drive the success of your department.
Tracy Milius, OT
What is the most important thing to keep in mind during a therapy session with a patient? That’s right. The most important thing is the patient.
Speaking as an occupational therapist, we’re always focused on a holistic approach to patient care. Providing treatment interventions that encompass meaningful participation in all levels of daily living is at the heart of everything we do. So when we’re already focusing on the patient, and we’ve been trained to provide quality care, what is the next step we can take to improve our efforts? How do we go above and beyond and make sure our patients receive not only quality patient care, but our thoughtful attention and customized approach for the best outcomes?
We first identify functional limitations and then address safety, environmental factors, adaptations and compensatory techniques, as well as education to the patient, family and caregiver. Functional limitations can be very low-level, such as the ability to perform dressing skills to more complex skills, such as medication management and ability to respond to an emergency. Activities can be graded from a basic seated position to standing and completing dynamic balance activities. When we incorporate components of therapeutic exercise for strengthening, ADL retraining with adaptive equipment instruction, and neuro re-education tasks, such as balance and functional mobility, we quickly fill up our scheduled therapy time.
Utilizing these strategies will lend to meeting your productivity goals, but more importantly they ensure your patient is getting as much value from their appointment as you can give–and each activity is focused on making them better.
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP
As speech therapists it’s important that we continue to find new techniques to integrate into our “tool box.” While our focus is always on customized and patient-centered care, it can be easy to reach for the same book or open the same app with a patient if they’ve had success with those resources. There are many everyday items that are both inexpensive and easy to find that you can incorporate into your therapy sessions to enrich the therapy and deepen your patient’s progress.