The physical therapist's (PT's) role on the interprofessional team is specialized to address a patient's functional needs.
Statement of the Problem:
Functional status is a key determinant for rehospitalization and is associated with the greatest risk of readmission, yet typical discharge planning teams do not include the PT as an integral member of the team. When PTs are involved, the likelihood of rehospitalization is much lower. The PT has an essential role in the discharge process to align the patient's capacity with the community resources that will best achieve a safe transition plan, facilitate restoration of functioning, and achieve an optimal outcome.
PTs are essential members of the care transitions team and improve patient outcomes across the health care system. This perspective highlights a critical nontraditional role for PTs to fill that will help improve health care decision-making and reduce the risk for rehospitalization and adverse health outcomes.