Quality Physiotherapy Toolkit

Physiotherapy is an evidence-based profession that evaluates and evolves practice using the latest scientific data. These strengths will allow us to meet the needs of increasing demand, changing demographics, and an evolving health system. Our ongoing attention to our strengths means that our profession will continue to be a highly-respected, highly-sought service for rehabilitation, health promotion and prevention.

A committee representing all facets of physiotherapy in Canada has adapted the definitions of Quality from the Institute for Health Improvement to the context of our profession. This toolkit shares resources that you can use to explore each dimension and evaluate quality in your practice.

Definitions of Dimensions of Quality Physiotherapy

  • Quality Physiotherapy: the degree to which physiotherapy services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired patient outcomes. It is consistent with current professional knowledge, and expressed through the following dimensions: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. (adapted from IOM)
  • Safe: care that reduces risk of unintended harm to patients as a result of physiotherapy services.
  • Effective: care that is informed by evidence that aims to achieve optimal outcomes and includes the routine use of outcomes measures.
  • Patient-Centred: care that is developed in partnership with patients, that is respectful and responsive to individual patient needs, values, and preferences.
  • Timely: care that is provided according to patient needs and minimizes negative consequences of delays.
  • Efficient: care that optimizes use of available resources to achieve desired patient outcomes.
  • Equitable: care where quality does not vary because of characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, culture.




*The CPA’s definition of quality does not include the concept of access to care.