Another great peice of research has been openly published in Physiopedia this week. Selena Horner, of Red Cedar Physical Therapy and eminent blogger at EIM, has contributed her case report that describes the development and implementation of a process physical therapists may incorporate to quantify clinical experience in an outpatient physical therapy setting to assist with clinical decision-making. The final reports created as result of the process provided the opportunity to enhance clinical outcome awareness by quantifying clinical experience. Selena did this piece of research as “a way to learn where her weaknesses were and to figure out a way to clinically improve”. She presented her research at the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting in Las Vegas in 2009 and has also shared her audiovisual presentations. Selena is an avid supporter of the open nature of Physiopedia and appreciates having an avenue to share what she learned.
Concrete awareness of clinical experience more readily allows for the integration of clinical expertise and patient preferences with published literature. A process for quantifying clinical experience has not been established. This case report describes the development and implementation of a process physical therapists may incorporate to quantify clinical experience in an outpatient physical therapy setting to assist with clinical decision-making. The process involves three distinct phases: Phase I (preparation), Phase II (altering the process involved in the delivery of care) and Phase III (procedural changes after the episode of care). Implementation occurs on a sample of 296 consecutive episodes of care for patients with a predominant orthopaedic complaint. Summary reports comprise the final outcome of the process. The value of the process resides at the level of the individual clinician. The ability of the clinician to thoughtfully self-reflect and merge the presented data with published literature strengthens the value of the process. Although this process encompassed only one clinician, only a small set of data, only descriptive statistics and a broad classification system, the quantification process provided concrete awareness of clinical experience.