Posted in Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L

-Adapting to the Demands of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act

This is worth repeating

Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L

Health care is changing, there is no doubt about it.  I received my copy of American Journal of Occupational Therapy [AJOT] today.  One of the first articles in this issue referred to P4 Medicine and Pediatric Occupational Therapy.  According to this article (AJOT 2013), the occupational therapy profession will need to survive the increasing scrutiny of regulators and funders to continue to provide services within these new and already existing models of care. As we know, there have been those “Ah Ha” moments when you, an OT, find out that physical therapists [PTs] have been working on Activities of Daily Living with patients.  My local hospital considers itself a “Stroke Center” and guess what? There is not an occupational therapist on the staff!  We really do need to step up and create a standardization of documentation that demonstrates our vast body of knowledge under the Occupation Therapy Framework: Domain and…

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I am an occupational therapist with 18 years of experience in the pediatric sector, much of that time as an independent contractor. I am very passionate about my work and my writing. My degrees include a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences and a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Touro College. Since graduating as a non-traditional student, I have worked in a variety of settings throughout the life span but settled in the area of school-based therapy. My interests lie in the area of using technology to support independence and I often train students to use programming not only to monitor their own goal progress but also support educational, vocational and life skills. Another area of particular interest is documentation. As an independent contractor for many years, I feel that it is important to align methods of documenting goal progress with educators for greater consistency and understanding when writing for an IEP. It is better to plan a format for documentation used in the IEP, such as for assessment and goal progress and that a rubric, in many ways, fulfills the need for consistency in documentation across all domains. Combining my interest in technology and documentation, I use Microsoft OneNote to maintain all documentation. I create a digital notebook for each student or patient with any forms required uploaded as templates which can then be completed, and saved automatically. I strongly believe in student centered approach to therapy. Students must be active participants in developing goals and documenting progress. In order to help students understand their progress, I teach my students to develop electronic portfolios and to use spreadsheet programming with graphs to collect data and view progress, whenever possible.