HSC 1531 Project Treatment Notes
HSC 1531 Project Treatment Notes
course project assignment, you are presented with treatment notes for two
different patients. Treatment Notes often include medication orders, medication
administration, and documentation of procedures, such as physical therapy,
respiratory therapy, nutrition counseling, and radiation therapy. These notes
include details regarding the type, length, and necessity of treatment. Treatment
notes are important to track the execution of the patient’s treatment plan and
monitor progression of his or her health outcomes.
You will be
exploring the medical terminology used in these test results and will be asked
to interpret the meanings of various words and abbreviations.
this assignment, do the following:
the treatment notes for the two patients:
Gibbler Treatment Notes
Anderson Treatment Notes
complete, and submit the document below. This document contains questions you
will answer regarding the treatment notes for each patient.
Course Project Assignment Template
completed assignment by following the directions linked below. Please check the
Course Calendar for specific due dates.
assignment as a Microsoft Word document. (Mac users, please remember to append
the “.docx” extension to the filename.) The name of the file should
be your first initial and last name, followed by an underscore and the name of
the assignment, and an underscore and the date. An example is shown below:
Treatment notes and progress notes are a key component of physical therapy documentation. In fact, many therapists spend a majority of their documentation time writing these types of notes. Although the focus of this book thus far has been on documenting the initial evaluation, all elements included in treatment or progress notes are essentially components of the initial evaluation. The concepts discussed in the previous chapters all apply here.
Although there are no formal guidelines from either APTA or CMS regarding the structure of treatment or progress notes, such documentation can become unwieldy without some organization. The SOAP note is a commonly used format and is one with which most medical personnel are familiar (see Chapter 2 for the history and development of the SOAP note). The SOAP format is relatively easy to master and provides a quick format for writing a treatment note. This chapter presents a format for writing both treatment notes and progress notes using a modified SOAP format.
The acronym SOAP stands for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan. This format was discussed briefly in Chapter 2 and is presented here as a framework for treatment and progress note documentation. However, the original design for use of the SOAP note is not how it is currently used by most medical professionals. The SOAP note was designed to promote a sequential rather than an integrative approach to clinical decision making and was linked to the problem-oriented medical record, which is no longer routinely used. However, with some modifications the SOAP note can provide the foundation for efficient, effective functional outcomes documentation in rehabilitation.
The figures and tables in this chapter outline key components of these notes to meet criteria necessary for optimal clinical decision making, third-party payment, and legal purposes. Because treatment notes must serve such diverse purposes, there may be a tendency for therapists to write excessively long notes. Strategies for simplifying documentation are provided in Box 12-1. Furthermore, the case examples at the end of the chapter demonstrate how such notes are modified for different patients in different practice settings.
Treatment notes are written for each encounter a PT or PTA has with a patient (Case Examples 12-1, 12-2, and 12-3). Although APTA documentation guidelines and most third-party payers require documentation for each physical therapy encounter, the format of treatment note documentation is at the discretion of each institution.
1. Legal documentation. A treatment note importantly provides a legal record of what was done in a therapy session and why. For this reason, documentation of the specifics of the interventions performed and the patient’s reaction to those interventions is critical.
2. Third-party payment. Third-party payers typically request that treatment notes be provided as proof of service. Medicare, for example, requires documentation to create a record of all treatments and skilled interventions to justify the use of billing codes.
3. To facilitate functional outcomes and clinical decision making. Writing a treatment note that focuses on functional outcomes helps to maintain a therapist’s attention on patient-specific goals. Each treatment note allows the therapist the time to reevaluate the patient’s progress and goals and to consider changes to the plan of care.
4. As a record for other therapists in case of absence. In the event that a therapist is absent, it is important for any covering therapist to have a complete record of the specific interventions that were performed with a patient.
From a functional outcomes perspective, the focus of treatment notes should be on the specific goals that are being addressed. Thus the goals should be readily visible to the therapist as he or she writes the treatment note. This can be accomplished by adding a statement at the beginning of the SOAP note that identifies the goals, possibly including only those that were the focus of that treatment (restatement of the goals that were set at the time of the intial evaluation or last progress note). Alternatively, therapists can easily have the patient’s goals reproduced at the beginning of the SOAP note. This can be more easily accomplished using computerized documentation.
In the Subjective section of the treatment note, the therapist documents the patient’s subjective respon-ses to interventions and any changes in participation or activity limitations. This section could include any relevant statements or reports made by the patient, patient’s family members, and/or caregivers. The purpose of this section is to detail the patient’s own perception of his or her condition, which can relate to impairments (e.g., pain), activities (e.g., ability to walk), or participation (e.g., ability to work). Box 12-2 provides more information on documenting pain in treatment notes.
This section of the note does not include direct observations made by the therapist. Therapists can report a patient’s or caregiver’s remarks in quotation marks if the exact phrasing is somehow pertinent. Documentation of subjective information should incorporate information that is relevant to the patient’s progress in rehabilitation and specifically related to changes in functional performance or quality of life. It should not include extraneous information that is not directly related to the patient’s current condition.