Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry

January 1, 2015, APTA intends to launch a registry database, which will collect uniform data to evaluate specific outcomes for a population defined by a particular condition.

Learn more about this groundbreaking project below.

Why a Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry?
In the current and evolving health care environment, where increased scrutiny is being placed on outcomes, a registry enables the physical therapy community to demonstrate the value of physical therapy services to payers while also enhancing patient care by providing participating physical therapists with benchmarks from which to build evidence-based care plans. The registry supports the vision for the profession to transform society, and it places the physical therapy community in a position to proactively contribute to reforming health care system.

Numerous health care associations have taken lead roles in developing outcomes registries, including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons. In this effort, APTA hopes to have data contributed by individual physical therapy clinics as well as partner with companies already gathering outcomes data and electronic health records. APTA's registry won't duplicate any existing system. It will be designed to ultimately gather outcomes across the full continuum of physical therapist care. APTA's registry development will be supported by Outcome Sciences, Inc.

Why Outcome?
Outcome has a long history of designing patient registries, including working with and submitting data and methods to CMS and other payers. Outcome has helped develop the registry standards for multiple agencies and is dynamic enough to adjust PTOR to the unique needs of the physical therapy community while also meeting established best practices.

Will the registry increase my documentation burden?
No. Participating physical therapists should be able to record outcomes in one system - either directly into APTA's national registry or through a partnering third-party's system that provides the data to APTA's national registry. Additionally, we are intentionally restricting the number of data elements to ensure the least possible burden to contributors of data.

What data will be collected?
Information on the initial minimum data set will be available in Spring 2014.

How can physical therapists utilize this data?
Practicing physical therapists will benefit from benchmarking data that will allow them to enhance patient care and improve efficiency. Researchers will benefit from having access to data that will support studies that may decrease the variation in provision of services and thus enhance patient care.

What's the cost to the individual user?
Fees for using the registry have yet to be determined.

How can I participate in the registry?
APTA is in the process of securing a minimum number of participants to provide data during 2014. E-mail registry staff if you are interested in participating. Although access will be limited to these pilot participants in 2014, all physical therapists will be eligible to participate in 2015.

Will physical therapists be required to participate?

What's the development timeline?
In order to launch the registry for all users on January 1, 2015, APTA must launch a pilot program with a minimum of 100 individual users by January 1, 2014. APTA and Outcome are currently on pace for a 2015 launch.