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  • APTA Members Key Authors of Circulation Science Advisory

    A new science advisory from the American Heart Association calls on inpatient and home health care teams (physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, clinical exercise physiologists, registered dieticians, and CR team members) to implement a coordinated effort to promote outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR) to eligible patients and to facilitate referral and enrollment.

    APTA member Ross Arena, PT, PhD, FAHA, is lead author of this scientific advisory. Coauthors include APTA members Lawrence P. Cahalin, PT, PhD, CCS, and Reed Humphrey, PT, PhD. 

    "Despite the well-documented benefits, outpatient CR referral and participation rates remain disappointingly low," write the authors. Therefore, a primary goal of the science advisory aims to better define the role of key health care professionals in both the inpatient and home health settings to ultimately improve participation in CR.

    Published online January 30 in Circulation, the advisory includes key recommendations to:

    • formulate a multidisciplinary inpatient CR program;
    • initiate an automatic referral to appropriate inpatient health professional(s) to assess the readiness of all patients with a cardiac event for discharge home and for participation in an outpatient CR program; and
    • develop and examine evidence-based multidisciplinary models of discharge planning.

    The authors also propose 8 "future directions" to address the lack of referral to outpatient CR.

    AHRQ Releases Hospital Quality Indicators Toolkit

    A new toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ ) is designed to help hospital staff understand AHRQ's quality indicators (QIs) and support them in using QIs to successfully improve quality and patient safety in the hospital setting. The toolkit is a general guide to using improvement methods, with a particular focus on QIs. It focuses on 17 patient safety indicators and 28 inpatient quality indicators.

    Tools are organized in 7 sections following a complete improvement process that includes setting priorities and planning for performance improvements on QIs, implementing improvement strategies, and sustaining improvements achieved. The toolkit has undergone a field test, evaluation, and revisions in response to feedback from 6 hospitals.

    New in the Literature: UE Neurodynamic Tests (Physiother Theory Pract. 2011 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print])

    A study to determine whether within-subject differences exist between limbs in the upper extremity (UE) component of neurodynamic tests of the median, radial, and ulnar nerves found that between-limb values have low correlation and that it may be normal for an individual to have range of motion differences between limbs with neurodynamic tests.

    Researchers examined 61 healthy participants. Difference between limbs for the median nerve-biased test was significant. There was no significant difference between limbs for the radial or ulnar nerve-biased tests. Correlation between limbs was poor for all tests (median r(2) = 0.14; radial r(2) = 0.20; ulnar r(2) = 0.13). Lower-bound scores were calculated to determine the amount of difference needed to consider asymmetry beyond measurement error. The scores for each neurodynamic test were median 27°, radial 20°, and ulnar 21°.

    APTA member Laura G. Covill, PT, DPT, OCS, is the lead author of this article, which is published in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. APTA member Shannon M. Petersen, PT, DScPT, OCS, is coauthor.

    APTA and FSBPT: Collaborating on Common Challenges

    As organizations that represent aspects of the physical therapy profession, APTA and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) have identified numerous collaboration opportunities on a variety of issues of joint concern. As the principle membership organization representing physical therapy, APTA works to serve its members and help them to best serve their patients. FSBPT's primary aim is to protect the public through licensure and regulation of the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant.

    It is just as important that chapters are aware of, and involved in, communicating with their state licensing boards to identify collaboration opportunities to develop solutions to address ongoing issues in the states involving licensure and regulation.

    In order to identify solutions to common challenges, APTA and FSBPT Board and staff representatives have been meeting regularly to coordinate efforts and share information. On January 19, a group of APTA Board members and staff met with FSBPT Board and staff to discuss several issues, including continuing competence, the physical therapy workforce, fixed-date exam testing, and the outcomes registry. A productive discussion was held on the topic of coordination of education, regulation and licensure. The group explored the current environment in these 3 areas, what is on the horizon for each area, and how APTA and FSBPT can collaborate to ensure that future developments in these areas are consistent and in the best interest of the profession. APTA will continue to keep members informed of progress in these areas. Contact Janet Bezner with any questions.