The road towards digitally-enabled physio

The CSP is working with members to explore how informatics can be used to improve the delivery of physiotherapy services

Digital physio

1. What is health informatics?

‘The knowledge, skills and tools that enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared to support the delivery of healthcare and to promote health and wellbeing’ (Department of Health).

2. What’s in it for me?

It can improve processes, reduce duplication, support decision making, optimise use of technology in clinical practice, provide evidence to improve practice, demonstrate good practice and much more. So the question shouldn’t be ‘if’ but ‘how’ can I get involved? 

3. What’s in it for my patients?

It can allow our patients to have increased choice and empowerment, improve person-centred care, reduce travel time and costs, improve communication across services, improve patient safety and improve health outcomes, as well as many other benefits.

4. You’re probably already doing it!

If you’re already inputting data to an electronic system, using video consultations, learning remotely, using electronic devices in the delivery of care, using data for quality improvement or research then you’re already involved in health informatics. It has been part of physiotherapy practice for decades but there is potential to make even better use of it.

5. Want to know more?

The CSP is launching its Physiotherapy Health Informatics Strategy (PHIS), which is designed to guide our members along the health informatics highway. It aims to increase understanding and confidence in how and where informatics can benefit physiotherapy practice and development. However, we need members’ views on this to make sure it is relevant and accessible to you and your practice, whether that be clinical, education, research or leadership. Have your say by clicking on our online link.

What’s coming next?

There will be more about the use of health informatics in physiotherapy in the next few issues of Frontline, building up to the launch of our strategy later this year.

If you want to know more, visit our digital physiotherapy pages.

  • Jackie Lidgard, Euan McComiskie and Matt Liston make up the CSP’s health informatics team.

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