Sue Dahl-Popolizio, DBH, OTR/L, CHT; Oaklee Rogers, OTD, OTR/L; Sherry Muir, PhD, OTR/L; Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, MPH; Lesley Manson, PsyD
The authors explore the training and expertise of occupational therapists and the cost benefit of the strategic use of occupational therapists as members of the interprofessional primary care (PC) team. PC practices can optimize successful and cost-effective patient care delivery, outcomes, and access to care by using interprofessional care teams and allowing physicians to off-load patients whose issues relate to routines and habits and do not require diagnostic or prescriptive intervention. This, and the occupational therapist’s ability to obtain reimbursement for his or her services, demonstrates that this professional can be an invaluable addition to the integrated PC team. The authors review the educational background, core competencies, and skill set of this group of professionals. Occupational therapists have a comprehensive education and are well equipped to address patient issues related to general health and chronic illness management, behavioral health, rehabilitation, and habilitation. Their ability to treat health issues that affect quality of life and overall function ensures that they are an asset to the interprofessional team. They can improve patient care and assist practices in their goal to achieve the triple aim. The authors encourage PC practices to include occupational therapists as value-added members of integrated PC teams.
Corrected mathematical errors in Table 4.
Dahl-Popolizio, S., Rogers, O., Muir, S. L., Carroll, J., & Manson, L. (2017). Interprofessional Primary Care: The Value of Occupational Therapy. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1363