APTA Helps Physical Therapists Choose Wisely
Recognizing that all health care providers play a critical role in the delivery of care, the ABIM Foundation announced earlier this year that the Choosing Wisely® campaign would expand to include other health care provider organizations. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) was the first to release its list of Five Things Physical Therapists and Patients Should Question on September 15.
“For the public to have adequate access to quality health care, non-physician providers who provide essential services to patients need to be involved,” said Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA, Professor and Chairman, Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh, Vice President of Education and Research for the Centers of Rehab Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Chair of APTA’s Choosing Wisely Workgroup. “If a profession as a whole is going to step forward and claim they have a place in taking care of patients, they should also be proactive in self-evaluation in terms of what they should and shouldn’t do. It’s just part of their professional responsibility.”
Led by Dr. Delitto, APTA formed a panel comprised of experts in physical therapy subspecialties, including musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and acute care areas to develop its Choosing Wisely list. A survey distributed to more than 88,000 members generated an initial list of 170 potential recommendations. The workgroup used a modified Delphi process to refine the list to nine recommendations; the final five were determined by a vote of the membership.
“We started with a large list. But, because we were only able to choose five things, we had to focus on the areas where there was a lot of consensus,” said Dr. Delitto.
APTA is educating its members about its participation in Choosing Wisely through weekly e-newsletters, content on its website, video interviews with leaders and articles in its publications. This approach complements its outreach to patients through both the publication of materials produced in partnership with Consumer Reports and content on APTA’s consumer website www.moveforwardpt.com. An article in the journal Physical Therapy published in conjunction with the release of the list documented APTA’s development process.
“The hope is that consumers will realize they’re empowered to open discussion and ask questions about their course of care during a visit with a physical therapist. This list will provide ways in which patients can focus a conversation with a PT and ask appropriate questions,” said Dr. Delitto.
The Choosing Wisely campaign aligns with APTA’s Integrity in Practice initiative, a multi-faceted educational effort launched in 2013 that seeks to eliminate fraud, abuse and waste from health care.