Impact of using an online standardised data collection system in private physiotherapy practices in the UK: practitioners' views

Elizabeth Bryant, Shemane Murtagh, George Olivier, Sandy Lewis, Karen Winrow, Eric Lewis, A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Relevance: Clinicians are becoming increasingly aware of the need to be able to demonstrate and account for the delivery and quality of their clinical services. Online standardised data collection systems, if carried out rigorously, can be used by clinicians to gather this information in a robust and accessible way. The standardised data collection system used in this project was developed following a number of different phases including identifying relevant criteria for inclusion, piloting the tool through a number of pilot studies and the development of an electronic database. Purpose: Since November 2014 Physio First (the Organisation for Chartered Physiotherapists in Private Practice in the UK) has offered all its members the opportunity to participate in an online standardised data collection study. This has provided detailed information about current practice, patient demographics and outcome of care within physiotherapy private practices in the UK. Practitioners who contributed to the study were asked for feedback on their experience of participation. Methods/Analysis: 237 practitioners were recruited to the study. Practitioners who input data onto the online system were contacted via email and asked to provide feedback on their experience and any impact of participation. This was an online survey questionnaire design. The survey (via Survey Monkey) comprised of 5 open ended questions to enable qualitatively driven analysis. Data were managed and analysed thematically. Results: The survey response rate was 25%. Four themes emerged from the data relating to: the individual practitioner, the business, the patient focus and the practicalities of data collection. The theme centred around the individual practitioner was multifaceted and included personal and practice development (i.e. stimulating reflective practice, awareness of the importance of data and improvements in day to day practice), professional development (i.e. identifying CPD needs and facilitating treatment evaluation) and supporting the profession (i.e. commitment to contributing to the knowledge base). The business theme comprised two categories, new knowledge (i.e. increased awareness of patient profiles and the importance of benchmarking), and use of data in informing practice (i.e. for business management, marketing, education and practitioner development). The patient focus theme related to the patient's perceptions and included quality assurance and time scale issues. The key issue for the practicalities of data collection was the increased workload (i.e. time limitations, duration and software compatibility). Discussion and conclusions: Practitioners feedback varied following use of the online standardised data collection system. Some were entirely positive in terms of the impact it had had on their development (personal, practice and professional) and their business, whilst others had more mixed feelings. The negative impact reported was the increased workload, specifically the extra time commitment the data collection entailed. Impact and Implications: Physio First and their participating practitioners have a growing database of patient data. This has been achieved using an online database designed to collect standardised data. Whilst there is an issue concerning the time required to collect this data, the benefit of being able to show how efficient, timely and equitable their services are will provide valuable support to them in the ever changing healthcare market.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016
Event4th European Congress of the European Region of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (ER-WCPT) - Liverpool, 11-12 November 2016
Duration: 10 Nov 2016 → …


Conference4th European Congress of the European Region of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (ER-WCPT)
Period10/11/16 → …


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