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      Physical Therapy’s Role with World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day

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      World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day is held on October 19th of every year, to raise awareness of the impact of musculoskeletal disorders in children. Also referred to as World PB&J Day (the perfect acronym for kids…), its focal point is to educate both healthcare providers and the public, about prevention and treatment. Physical therapy is key here – what increasing impact does this treatment have in helping children?  

      What is World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day  

      PB&J Day (#WorldPediatricBoneAndJointDay and #WorldPBJDay) began in 2012, sponsored by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative’s (USBJI) Pediatric Specialty Group. Their mission is an annual recognition of bone and joint initiatives that improve the prevention and treatment of related disorders among children.  

      Active in both the United States and around the world, their goal is to improve the quality of life for those affected by these structural disorders that affect children’s physical functionality. These healthcare professional’s objective is to reduce the impact of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions through research, while peer- and public-sharing the impactful results they discover

      To relay the impact, 19 million children a year receive treatment for an MSK-related condition in the US alone. The inconvenience and pain of the structural damage is bad enough, though it also negatively impacts their education. Those kids missed 149 million school days last year, due to joint or back pain, making it the second-most common reason for absenteeism.  

      Pediatric Physical Therapy Benefits 

      Treating young people to improve MSK health through lifestyle (diet, exercise), along with injury prevention and rehabilitation, will have benefits throughout their lives. Raising awareness, research, and implementing advanced models of care, are keys to improving clinical outcomes for children with MSK conditions.  

      As children progress through age-related movement stages and developmental milestones, pediatric physical therapists (PTs) monitor these steps. They indicate if differences exist between a child’s chronologic or developmental age. They also measure the motor patterns of functionality. If irregularities are found, PTs further evaluate the conditions and provide treatment as needed.  

      The goal is to provide each child with the ability to meet the task-related challenges of their daily environment. PTs help by strengthening any deficiencies they may have, that are standing in the way of leading a healthy, productive life. Therapists often include a child’s family, caregivers, teachers, and others who interact with them in their treatment, educating and equipping them to meet each other’s needs. 

      The challenge PTs face is differentiating normal developmental delays from those that indicate potential developmental problems. This is where therapists offer much-needed consultation to a child’s family and community. They’re able to examine and provide interventions on a constantly changing developmental base over time, as a child grows. 

      Play-oriented activities are used to implement therapeutic activities for young children. With adolescents, therapy is often structured around social situations. With both age groups, the aim is to find activities that correspond to the learning style of each pediatric client. The factors include age, culture, and their social and physical environments. 

      Automating Physical Therapy Practices to Improve Patient Health  

      With pediatric PT increasing in need from a growing population of children with MSK disorders, enabling a practice to meet demand and grow the business is challenging. A practical option to accommodate therapy staff’s available billable hours to avoid overwork burnout is to automate repetitive process activities of patient management.  

      This enables more patients to be treated by PTs by increasing the available billable hours of existing staff. It also reduces administrative time and costs, while minimizing operational errors. Billing revenue cycle time is improved, positively impacting cash flow.   

      Automating functions including patient scheduling, administrative task management, treatment documentation recording, and reimbursement billing workflow, are all functions of today’s Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. These also provide an enhanced patient and caregiving family experience with staff, accommodating convenient interaction through a dedicated patient portal.   

      To see the capabilities of a pediatric PT-focused EHR, have a look.  

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