Physical Therapy Standard of Care

Wheelchair in foreground of image, with physical therapy patient seen in background.

Michelle Wolpov, D.P.T., CSCS, Physical Therapy & Fitness Industry Expert

Physical therapists are required to meet certain benchmarks for quality and effectiveness when treating patients, otherwise known as the standard of care. While the specific benchmarks vary across medical professions, standard of care is commonly recognized as the way in which an average, prudent healthcare provider in any given community would practice.

In “Understanding ‘Standards of Care’ in Physical Therapy,” Michelle Wolpov, D.P.T, CSCS, Physical Therapy & Fitness Industry Expert with DJS Associates, discusses the clinical care guidelines that should be applied when treating musculoskeletal dysfunction, referencing the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Guide to Physical Therapy Practice.

The Standard of Care in Physical Therapy is defined by a consideration of the following:

  • The appropriateness and thoroughness of the evaluation performed
  • The specificity of the treatment technique being rendered
  • The legalities and ethical responsibilities in choosing an appropriate treatment / plan of care
  • The normal routine for evaluation and treatment when performed on a daily basis with like circumstances

When a breach of standard of care is suspected, Dr. Wolpov advises that subsequent analysis of potential malpractice or negligence should encompass “use of documentation standards, verbal informed consent practices, evaluation of procedures, treatment choice methodology, treatment techniques, re-evaluation and discharge requirements, and incident follow through.”

Read Dr. Wolpov’s full article here.

Categories: Medical | Michelle Wolpov, D.P.T., CSCS | Physical Therapy and Fitness Industry Expert | Sport, Fitness, and Recreation

Tags: APTA | Differential Diagnosis | Musculoskeletal Dysfunction | Standard of Care | Treatment Methodology


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