After several years of careful development, APTA has launched what it predicts will be a new chapter in the history of the physical therapy profession: the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry (Registry). The project aims to build an extensive nationwide repository of patient and practice data that APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, describes as “a bridge from our proud past in physical therapy to fully realizing our potential in the future.”

The Registry collects and aggregates electronic health record data from participating physical therapist (PT) practices, allowing PTs to make improved, data-informed clinical decisions, track and benchmark outcomes against industry data, and demonstrate the value of PT services. It’s the most extensive resource of its kind designed specifically for use in the physical therapy profession.

Speaking at the Registry’s February 15 launch event held at the APTA 2017 Combined Sections Meeting, APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, described the platform as “a resource that will elevate the care we provide our patients, that will better visualize our value, and that will help define our future, both as individual therapists and as a profession.”

“Ultimately, that means making a difference in people’s lives,” Dunn added.

In a video dispatch on the launch, Jay Irrgang, PT, PhD, FAPTA, who heads up the scientific advisory panel that oversaw the development of the database, described the Registry as a singular source of data “from the profession, for the profession,” adding that information from the Registry has the potential to impact not only practice, but quality improvement initiatives, payment, and research.

The extent of those impacts? To a large degree, that’s up to the profession itself, Moore told the audience at the launch event.

“The Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry has the potential to become one of the most significant developments in the history of our profession, but only if we, as a profession, make use of it,” Moore said. “The Registry is a bridge to our full potential. It’s up to us now to walk across it.”

Visit the Registry website to find out how it works, and learn how you can use the Registry to transform your practice—and the profession.

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