Home Health & Hospice

When is a decision made regarding a patient’s need for therapy and the setting in which it will occur?

Homecare Insider, January 18, 2016

The initial assessment is the time point where decision-making occurs about whether the patient will receive therapy, as well as the type of therapy.

Regardless of the documentation system used, or the reason for referral of the patient for therapy service, your skill set as a therapist and the areas that you evaluate remain constant. Based on the presentation of the patient at the time of initial assessment, both the impairments that you measure (e.g., cognition, strength, balance, swallow, communication, mobility) and the functional limitations experienced by the patient will vary. Thorough completion of an initial assessment demands that the therapist complete a system-by-system review.

To paint a complete picture, the therapist cannot focus only on the reason the patient was referred to therapy but must include other conditions, comorbidities, and factors that have the potential to impact care.