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From The CriticsReviewer: Cynthia Potter, PT, DPT, PCS (Healthquest Community Service)
Description: This book addresses the evolving role of the physical therapist in the changing healthcare delivery system and how physical therapists can be best prepared to respond to those changes. The skills and trends that go beyond clinical decision making to insure that physical therapists continue to effectively deliver their services are addressed.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the physical therapist with an orientation to changes in the role of physical therapy and to provide strategies for physical therapists to be proactive in the current healthcare environment.
Audience: It is geared specifically for physical therapists and physical therapist assistant students.
Features: The book begins with a description of recent trends that have impacted the role of physical therapists such as integrated service delivery and decreased inpatient hospital stays. An introduction to healthcare financing, reimbursement, and cost containment strategies follow. The strongest chapters in the book address trends in specific settings, including acute care, sub-acute care, and home healthcare. These chapters would especially be helpful for a physical therapist who may be changing settings and needs to become familiar with terminology and practices in a new setting. The need for physical therapists to be efficient and provide efficacious treatment is addressed in several chapters on time management, caseload management, outcome measurement, and documentation requirements. The chapter on utilization management features some useful questions and answers about utilization review and utilization management along with strategies for the physical therapists affected by these processes. The quality management chapter has limited information and lacks specific discussion about various current methods being used to assess quality. A chapter describing the expanding role of physical therapists in prevention and wellness concludes the book. Each chapter of the book concludes with a "Test Your Skills" exercise which helps the reader to synthesize information and encourages the reader to develop creative solutions to the problems presented. An extensive glossary and several appendixes are included. A list of approved physical therapy abbreviations, several APTA documents related to practice (Guidelines for Documentation, Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and the Policy Direction, Delegation, and Supervision in Physical Therapy Services), and a sample of a critical pathway can be found in the appendixes.
Assessment: Compared to other books available describing the delivery of healthcare services in the U.S., this book is unique in specifically addressing physical therapy services. It would be most useful for students in providing an overview and introduction to the many complex issues in today's clinical environment. It will be of limited use to an experienced, practicing clinician since few of the many topics covered are described in detail or include specific implications for practice. Those who are reentering practice or changing settings will find the book helpful in describing the current environment. Because of the rapid changes in healthcare, subsequent editions of this book will be required.