Embracing your Therapy Team with Interdisciplinary Team Management

Guest post by Cindy Krafft, PT, MS, CEO, Kornetti & Krafft Health Care Solutions

Cindy Krafft - 10.16.15Interdisciplinary care management of the home health patient is a complex activity. Clinicians are mobile to the point of not seeing each other regularly which can impact communication and coordination despite technological advances improving the ease of staying connected. One of the necessary skills the home health nurse or therapist must have to be successful in this environment is the ability to practice with a degree of autonomy supported by solid clinical decision-making.

Agency leaders can be challenged when trying to manage a group that consists of multiple disciplines – especially when dealing with a discipline that is not one they have training in. The tendency to revert to our respective silos may seem easier in the short term but can create walls that are difficult to reach across.

As I travel around the country, I encounter many agency leaders who are frustrated with their therapy team whether hourly, salaried or contracted. Communication is limited and very often perceived as completely different languages. Common ground can be found when we really embrace OASIS and its associated impact on outcome measures, process measures, payment and risk adjustment as being discipline neutral and useful information for the entire care team.

Completion of the comprehensive assessment can accentuate issues such as the role of the physical therapist in the drug regimen review, OASIS completion and disease management. Scope of practice and personal competence are actually two separate issues but can often be blurred into one. There are resources available to both the physical therapist and the home health agency that can move the conversation forward. These can be found by contacting the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Home Health Section of the APTA.

With November being National Physical Therapist Month, take a moment to better understand how valuable of a team member physical therapy can and should be on our road to better outcomes through interdisciplinary care management.

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