Optimizing FOTO: Optimizing Outcomes
Outcome measurement leads to better care management. Therapists are embracing evidence based practice more and more. Data is playing a much larger role in clinical decision making. Gone are the days of making clinical decisions based on just impairment measures, therapist observation and percentage of patient perceived improvement. Physical therapists are experts in assessing and improving function. A functional based measure is key to determining when a patient is maximizing the benefit of your care. The recovery curve for many injuries looks like this:
How will you know when you have achieved the “sweet spot” unless you have a measure for it? A measurement of functional change is easily assessed when you have a predicted, risk adjusted point to guide your decision. FOTO is an excellent tool that gives the therapist a starting point, and a predicted end point. All comparisons and predictions of patient functional change in FOTO is risk adjusted; so your patient is compared to like patients in the FOTO database.
Patient report outcomes (PRO’s) have been used and validated in research for a long time; several years. FOTO has been published in over 85 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has over 6 million episodes in its database. FOTO is accepted by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and CSM (Medicare) as a valid functional measure.
That explains why you would want to use FOTO as your functional outcome measure, but you want to know how to optimize the use the tool in clinical practice. Therapy Partners has been using FOTO for over 8 years, and has learned from its mistakes to optimize the use of FOTO in the clinic. We have trained clinics in 9 different markets across the country in how to optimize the use of FOTO. Two key steps in achieving accurate and high outcomes is the proper introduction to the FOTO questionnaire and the proper interpretation of the patient report. We help you understand the how to carry out these two steps.
Using an outcome tool in the clinic increases patient engagement. Patient engagement leads to higher outcome and greater patient satisfaction.
Outcomes are improved by both process and therapist interventions.
Here are the must have features for any outcome tool you use:
* Validated and Reliable
* Risk adjusted
* Minimal administrative and patient burden
* Meaningful to the patient and therapist
* Able to guide care management
* Large database for comparison
* Scorecards for multiple levels of reporting
* Meaningful data for other stakeholders
* Scalable – Aggregates data easily
* Able to use in improvement or payment strategy