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  • Embracing Technology: Implications for Physical Therapist Practice

    From the equipment physical therapists use in patient management, and the electronic health records (EHRs) they use to document, to the evolving clinical research in areas such as robotics, genetics, and regenerative medicine, certain technologies will have profound impact on the profession and its patients. In this new podcast, hear the calls of APTA leaders and researchers to increase the profession's ability to use technology, collaborate in developing and lead in testing new technologies, and work closely with basic scientists to guide the development of clinically relevant protocols as they relate to regenerative medicine.

    Check out 2 upcoming opportunities to learn more about these new technologies at PT 2012 in Tampa—Emerging Technologies: Implications for the Future of Physical Therapist Practice and The New Genomics: Applications and Implications for Physical Therapist Practice and Education.

    PTs Involved With Summer Olympics Urged to Contact APTA

    If you work with Olympic athletes and/or will be heading to London to serve on an Olympic team's medical staff, APTA wants to hear from you. During the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, APTA would like to spotlight member physical therapists (PTs) who have helped the nation's elite athletes prepare to compete on the world's biggest stage. Contact Erin Wendel, senior media relations specialist, by e-mail or phone at 703/706-3397 by Monday, May 28, for more details. APTA also intends to use this opportunity to promote the physical therapist's role in helping athletes of all ages and skill levels reach their goals by preventing and treating sports-specific injuries.

    Researchers Identify Core Measures to Evaluate PCMHs

    A new policy brief from The Commonwealth Fund describes recommendations of more than 75 researchers who identified a core set of standardized measures to evaluate the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). The brief focuses on 2 domains of medical home outcomes—clinical quality and cost/utilization.

    The researchers broadly agreed about the importance of assessing changes in clinical quality as part of any medical home program. They expressed con­cerns that the variation in populations and local PCMH emphasis might make uniform minimum quality mea­sure sets difficult to generalize. Therefore, they agreed to a core set of principles that all evaluators should follow when examining clinical quality. In particular, they call for select measures from each of the following core areas of primary care measurement—preventive care, chronic disease management, acute care, overuse, and safety.

    The majority of researchers recommend including emergency department visits, hospital­izations, and readmissions as the primary utilization indicators in the minimum measure set. According to the group's analysis, these indica­tors were both consistent with the logic model that attempted to capture how a medical home could affect utilization, cost, and efficiency and were supported by at least some empirical evidence.

    For cost measures, there was consensus that evaluations of PCMHs should always include analysis of total per-member per-month cost effects for high-risk patients, since the PCMH initiative will most likely be able to detect a measureable effect on this patient population.