When physiotherapy treatment is provided in an acute setting the benefits to the patient are of substantial value. Reduced length of stay, reduced readmission rates, better quality of stay in hospital are all amongst the headline benefits. Obviously these benefits only come to fruition if the therapy actually takes place.
A cross-sectional study performed in a community hospital in the southwest U.S has found that 15.9% of scheduled rehabilitation sessions didn’t occur. In real terms that was 995 out of 6,246 sessions. The observations can be broken down further:
- Patients with a musculoskeletal diagnosis had the lowest non-treatment
- Patients were less likely to be seen if they had a non-musculoskeletal diagnosis with oncology patients most likely to not recieve treatment
- Highest non-treatment was seen on a Sunday
- 1.3% of patients were not seen on their scheduled first appointment
- The more sessions booked the higher your non-treatment percentage
Of course this is only a single hospital in the U.S with a wide range of conditions and an undisclosed staffing level so care does need to be made between associating therapists with non-treatment events. However it is worth taking this example and thinking about your own caseload. With an ever increasing workload with a reduction in time and money streamlining your day has never been so important. Just think about the patients.