OT in Primary Care

A new role for OTs

I had coffee with a friend the other day who shared with me about her dad's recent fall, hip fracture, and the subsequent complications. She lamented that a fall had seemed inevitable, but over the past year it had felt like there was nothing to be done. 

The conversation brought to mind an article in the  Sept/Oct AJOT- Occupational Therapy in Primary Care: We Should Be There. Author Sherry Muir talks about the dearth of preventative care options in our current healthcare system and proposes that the solution may lie in OTs providing services at primary care offices. 

"…It is becoming clear that the provision of primary care must change to best use health care dollars. Having the opportunity to receive professional guidance for lifestyle modification and the development of healthy habits early on could prevent patients from having a significant medical or emotional event. This intervention would truly support achieving health and wellness rather than waiting for inevitable illness or accident. I argue that it would be a better utilization of health care dollars. "

Muir goes onto lay out information on the current fragmentation of resources, and make specific suggestions for what OT services could look like in the setting. She even argues that the ACA (affordable care act) could open windows through accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient centered home models. 

If you missed this article when it came out, I encourage you to go back and read it. It might get your imagination following about the untapped possibilities for OT in the years ahead.  

Sarah Lyon, OTR/LAJOTComment