Five Characteristics of Quality Care at ACIC


Physical therapists are the "experts" in the eyes of the patient. The patient trusts in their knowledge, judgment and ability. Care of the patient should give predictable outcomes resulting in increased confidence in the patient. Attention must also be given to the staff and how they relate to the patient. Communicating to the patient that the staff is knowledgeable in their duties will ensure their trust and confidence. When a staff member performs a task, the patient believes he/she will make the correct decisions while performing the task. From the receptionist scheduling the appointment and the staff verifying the insurance correctly to the billing procedures being done without error. The reliability of the entire staff is important to patients and will build trust and confidence in the whole physical therapy experience.


Patients are not in the best of spirits when in pain or illness. The patient needs a treatment facility, which provides a stress free and secure environment. The appearance of the staff must convey to the patient one of confidence and keep the patient in their comfort zone. The facility must always be clean and orderly. The equipment must be clean and in good working order. There should be a calibration inspection of the equipment yearly and posted on the machines, which the patients can see. The communication skills of the staff and the therapists are two fold. One would be intra-staff and the second would be with those outside of the staff. Printed materials can be printed from the computers as the patient or staff needs arise, thus eliminating the clutter of storage of materials. This dimension is important to patients since these considerations will have the patient feel comfortable and that they are receiving physical therapy care in a professional environment.


Training the staff in the approach you want with patients and referring medical staffs is important. The communication to the medical practitioner in the status of the patient will bridge confidence in their allowing physical therapy care to be provided at ACIC. Ultimately the patient's perception and trust is needed in order for the physical therapist to render care. Having a staff which can manage unhappy patients in stressful situations, give quick solutions to a patient problem and quick solution to any staff concerns will lead to a smoother functioning staff that is well perceived by its patients. This dimension is important to patients since this will often determine the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the patient if the patient feels he being taken care of.
The communication to the referring medical practitioner, a quick reply that has been verified and delivered in a timely fashion enhances the patients and physician satisfaction.

4. Assurance

Having the patients see that the physical therapist is licensed and graduated from an approved school is the start for a patient to feel comfortable and trusting. The body language and the way a PT speaks to the patient also helps the patient feel more at ease and confident in their care. The way the staff conducts themselves in the presence of the patients also will affect they confidence of the patient. This dimension is important to patients since they will feel an increase in confidence in the care they are receiving.

5. Empathy

Having the patient feel special and they are your only concern when you are with them, starts with the staff. The bedside manner of the PT is very important to the patient's response and interaction with the physical therapist. Patients need to feel that the PT and staff are genuinely concerned with them. This dimension is important to the patient in developing an emotional, professional bond with the patient.