Early PT referral in ER is Effective
Previous studies have shown that physiotherapist assessment in the ER is associated with a statistically significant improvement ER wait times, patient satisfaction and fewer prescriptions for analgesia. What if PTs were not in the ER but were at least quickly accessible?
The study took place in the Emergency Dept of Singapore General Hospital where they experimented with early physiotherapy referral for patients with non-traumatic neck and back pain.
They randomly allocated some patients to receive early PT (within 1-7 days) and some to receive PT after 1 month if still required.
Not surprising result: Compared to the recipients of delayed physio, the patients referred to early physio had significantly lower levels of pain and disability 4-8 weeks post initial ER visit.
Perhaps one day PT clinics will be set up in the ER which may reduce the number of patients waiting for hours in beds in the ER hallways.
Reference: Sohil Pet al Potential impact of early physiotherapy in the emergency department for non-traumatic neck and back pain. World J Emerg Med. 2017;8(2):110-115.