A predictive model identifies patients who should receive physical therapy based on a variety of baseline factors (e.g., demographic characteristics, functional limitations, symptom severity, diagnosis type, medications, comorbidities).
The approach has generated an average of 25 additional referrals to the rehabilitation department each week, according to the authors. They further point out that the efforts may reduce hospitalizations.
"Preliminary analyses from their investigation revealed that patients who received physical therapy were 37% less likely to be hospitalized compared with patients who did not receive physical therapy services," they write.
Despite the reduction in hospitalizations, the authors stress that more research is needed. "While it is assumed that HIT initiatives such as the Quality Scorecard and Hospitalization Risk Score have contributed to better outcomes among VNSNY home healthcare patients, this needs to be explicitly tested in a controlled research study."