The recent headlines on budget allocation may have put doubts in the minds of our community on the quality of care patients receive from their healthcare providers.
It can be difficult for patients to navigate the healthcare system, which makes managing and advocating for your health more important now than ever. The first step is to do your due diligence when seeking healthcare providers; consider an online search of the practice and the providers where you can see if the treatments offered follow best practice guidelines and are evidence based.
Evidence-based means providers are making decisions and using treatment techniques that are based on sound research and trials. Treatment plans should be created based on the results of valid, reputable studies as well as clinical judgment backed by experience and expertise. Patients should be wary of health care providers who base treatments purely on anecdotal 'evidence', case reports, and subjective testimonials.
“I would caution anyone who is seeking treatment for any condition, make sure you do your homework,” says Dr. Joe Russolello, PT, DPT, OCS. “Unfortunately, many people are driven to alternative therapies that don’t follow the gold standard of randomized controlled trials due to barriers to more conventional care like physical therapy. Out of pocket expenses associated with health care plans and payers requiring referrals are 2 major reasons people seek alternative care, care that is either dangerous, like opioids, or not backed by clinical evidence” he comments.
But how do you know what’s evidence based? If you're ever concerned about a new treatment that your healthcare provider is recommending, then just ask them questions. They will be able to provide you with the answers you're looking for based on the results of valid, reputable studies that show why a certain technique can be your best option. “As healthcare providers, we are always looking towards the future of healthcare” shares Dr. Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS, OCS “we always want to be open to new practice techniques, but we also want to stress the importance of having the right evidence behind those techniques to ensure we are providing patients with the care they need, rather than a false hope or promise ” she expressed.
Here at Performance Physical Therapy, we are one of the many healthcare organizations that use both research-based evidence and clinical expertise in developing treatment plans to ensure patients are getting better, faster!