A therapy screen is a useful tool used to determine if further therapy evaluation is indicated.
All long-term residents should be screened for therapy routinely. Screens should also take place following an incident such as a fall or with significant change of condition. The change in condition may be for either a noted improvement in function, a medical condition, or due to a noted decline. Common screen indicators related to decreased function include falls, weight loss, coughing at meals or while taking medication, a decline in positioning in bed or chair, joint stiffness, cognitive changes, increased pain, decline in any ADLs, or loss of mobility in bed, during transfers, or with walking.
A request for a therapy screen can be completed by any staff member, family, or resident who feel rehab therapy may be appropriate. An interdisciplinary approach is best when completing a therapy screen and the screen itself will be performed by registered therapists or therapy assistants in each campus or community. The screen process is brief and considered hands-off. The screen allows the clinician to gather information to determine if a therapy evaluation is warranted.
Following completion of the screen, it may be determined further therapy intervention is medically necessary and an order for a specific therapy evaluation may be requested from the physician. An order for the evaluation will allow the Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists to perform a hands-on and comprehensive assessment to determine the functional deficits and impairments to be addressed through the design and establishment of a patient-specific individualized treatment plan.