What is Direct Access?
Direct access is the ability for individuals to see a physical therapist without a physician’s order. In the past, for example, a skier who has a sore back or a hiker who sprained her ankle might have to wait before receiving specialized therapeutic treatment. This is because the usual patient care path is to call a primary care physician for an appointment, wait for that appointment, and then have the physician assess the injury and write the referral for physical therapy.
“The old system was essentially delaying treatment,” said Louie Carder, Director of Rehabilitation Services at AVH. “With direct access, the patient can contact our physical therapy department directly, schedule an appointment and start receiving care within a few days, if not sooner.”
[Pictured: Louie Carder, PT, MSPT assisting a patient with upper extremity mobility.]