Effects of Early vs. Late Physical Therapy Referrals on Outcomes of Ankle Rehabilitation

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Student Affairs
Date Started: 
September 2007
To examine our standard of care and determine the effects of early verses late referrals to physical therapy (PT) on the outcomes of ankle rehabilitation. The objective is that UHS practice patterns that will fall within the Preferred Practice Patterns of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The data from all ankle sprains referred to PT in the period 9/1/07 to 12/1/07 were evaluated for the number of days from the reported date of ankle injury to the date of referral to PT, the number of clinic visits relating to the injury prior to the referral to PT and the average number of PT visits for referred ankle sprains.
The results indicate that the majority of UHS PT visits and referral per injury patterns are within the range described by the APTA.
The data was shared at a medical staff meeting to reinforce the positive results that the majority of these patients are being referred on the first or second visit to UHS.
A second data collection will be made and evaluated from 2/1/08 through 5/1/08 and the results will be reported to the QI Committee and the medical staff.

Results from Linda Eck 7/7/09:

We have not re-examined the specific outcomes from this study. We continue to remind our clinical staff of the importance of early referrals. We are planning to reiterate the results by including them in our UHS, bimonthly newsletter once our full clinical staff returns this fall. We are also working on having speaker address our clinical staff on the importance of therapy in reducing the incidents of recurring ankle spains.

Contact Person: 
Nancy Lambert
  • Linda Eck, Leader
  • Ken Hurd, Member
  • Ellen Jankowski, Member
  • Kristin Taylor, Member