Therapeutic Modalities: Best Practices to Protecting Patients from Harm During Treatment

Benito J. Velasquez*

Therapeutic Modalities: Best Practices to Protecting Patients from Harm During Treatment.

Healthcare providers and clinicians such as athletic trainers and physical therapists utilize therapeutic modalities to administer treatment to patients in the clinical setting. It is the responsibility of these healthcare providers to ensure the safe use of therapeutic modalities during treatment sessions, as well as effective delivery of treatment. Thermal-heat, ultrasound, cryotherapy and electrostimulation treatments have the potential for causing harm to patients. Proper care and maintenance of modalities can minimize the risk to patients and avoid legal issues for physical therapists and athletic trainers. This article will explore some of the legal issues, case studies and reports as well as providing information on what healthcare providers can do to protect patients.

All healthcare facilities and professional clinicians must have the interest of the public, especially providing healthcare delivery. Institutions that provide therapeutic modality treatment
should have the proper state-licensed professionals to conduct such treatment and patient care. In addition, the healthcare provider should examine their facility to insure patients are not exposed to
hazards from any of the therapeutic modalities equipment at the venue. One way to examine their professional role is to review the basic principles of “duty of due care” and “breach of duty”. Athletic Trainers (ATs) and Physical Therapists (PTs) owe a duty to a patient to provide services such as treatment of the medical condition in a professional manner.

In terms of risk management, healthcare professionals need to adhere to the U.S. Department of Labor-Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which oversees all national standards to protect workers and the public consumer such as patients.

Public Health Open J. 2019; 4(2): 52-55. doi: 10.17140/PHOJ-4-134