With today's rapid healthcare reforms, the O&SP practitioner's ability to quantify the quality of healthcare delivery and treatment cost-effectiveness is seminal to the future success of clinical practice. The evolution of total quality management in the manufacturing sector created concepts of quality control procedures. Today, government, managed care and other industries are assessing and using outcomes measures as the principal mode of quality evaluation of healthcare delivery.
The future of successful patient management will require routine documentation and quantification of patient information, which can be accomplished with the help of existing low-end to high-end technology. The reasons why practitioners should use outcomes measures and how they can be applied to all aspects of clinical practice are discussed and illustrated.
The O&P practice can benefit from objective documentation, data collection and outcomes measures if these tasks are performed in a routine and uniform manner; these practices can improve patient evaluation and measurement, aid in selecting the most appropriate appliances, help negotiate provider contracts, reinforce ethical practice management and minimize the risk of litigation.
© 1997 American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists