Outcome Measures

Outcomes are increasingly becoming the currency of modern health care.

With the evolution towards evidence-based practice in the health sciences, objective measures of outcome are important to provide credible and reliable justification for treatment. 

Find out how electronic outcome measures (eOM) can inform your own clinical practice...

The #1 priority in CPA's Strategic Plan is to "lead the development of outcome measurement systems to improve practice and influence health care decision-makers across Canada."    

An outcome measure is the result of a test used to objectively determine the baseline function of a patient at the beginning of treatment. Once treatment has commenced, the same measure can be used to determine progress and treatment efficacy.

Outcome measures provide a means to define treatment goals and track patient progress. Physiotherapists have been using them for many years to great effect. In fact, physiotherapists lead in the use of outcome measures across Canada. But we're not sharing them, and that means the collective data isn't being maximized.  

That's why CPA has partnered with Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc. (FOTO) to be the exclusive provider of data collection and reporting services for a rehabilitation functional outcome-based registry for CPA members.

Current Database Status - November 2016

Our eOM Database is growing every day! In the below graphic:

·         “Intakes” represent the physiotherapy patient assessments captured.

·         “Episodes w Status” means that there is an intake as well as a follow-up captured for that patient episode.

·         “Completed episodes” means that there is an intake, status, as well as a discharge captured for that patient episode.

Check back to this graphic regularly – we will be updating it as our Database grows!


PABC/CPA Electronic Medical Records Toolkit now available!

Many thanks to the generosity of our provincial branch partners in British Columbia!


Are you interested in going paperless and switching to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), but aren’t sure where to start?

Learn step-by-step how to use EMRs in your practice, from idea to optimization.

  • This Toolkit is based on physician experience and general EMR best practice contextualized into the private practice physiotherapy environment.
  • This Toolkit will help you have a clear expectation of what the EMR can provide, how it changes your clinic’s workflow, and a discussion of common challenges.

    Measuring outcomes is an important component of physiotherapy practice

    They are important in direct management of individual patient care and for the opportunity they provide the profession in collectively comparing care and determining effectiveness.

    The use of standardized tests and measures early in an episode of care establishes the baseline status of the patient/client, providing a means to quantify change in the patient's/client's functioning. Outcome measures, along with other standardized tests and measures used throughout the episode of care, as part of periodic reexamination, provide information about whether predicted outcomes are being realized. As the patient/client reaches the termination of physical therapy services and the end of the episode of care, the physical therapist measures the outcomes of the physical therapy services.

    Standardized outcome measures provide a common language with which to evaluate the success of physical therapy interventions, thereby providing a basis for comparing outcomes related to different intervention approaches. Measuring outcomes of care within the relevant components of function, including body functions and structures, activity, and participation, among patients/clients with the same diagnosis, is the foundation for determining which intervention approaches comprise best clinical practice.

    Why do we need an outcome measures database?

    In the current and evolving health care environment, where increased scrutiny is being placed on outcomes, a database enables our community to demonstrate its value to payers while also enhancing patient care by providing benchmarks from which to build evidence-based care plans. The database supports the vision for the profession to transform society, and it places the physical therapy community in a position to proactively contribute to reforming the health care system. An outcome measures database specific to physiotherapy will:

    Demonstrate the value of our services to Canadians and  healthcare  decision-makers Promote health research and contribute to real-world data for benchmarking


    Check back on this page often for more information on how you can use eOM in your practice.

    • Determine clinical practice patterns and assess adherence to clinical practice guidelines
    • Fulfill evolving reporting requirements by payers and regulators and support quality improvement initiatives


Further reading

Kerry Kittson, PT and Tim Paquette: CPA’s Program Equivalent to Peanut Butter & Jam

Kerry Kittson, PT Nipigon’s FOTO Question: An eOM Case Study

Electronic Outcome Measures (eOM): What’s in it for me?

CPA’s eOM Webinar: Physiotherapy Electronic Outcome Measures: Value for your Patients

Talk about eOM online? Continue the conversation with the #eOMisNow hashtag!

FOTO has dedicated an account executive exclusively for CPA members. If you have any questions about FOTO or would like to request a demo, please contact Laura Mensch!


Staff physiotherapist Kerry Kittson is the lead on CPA’s electronic outcome measure initiative. Please reach out to her as well with questions at kkittson@physiotherapy.ca


Physiotherapist Lori Neill is a clinic owner in Peterborough, Ontario and is the first FOTO user in Canada. Lori has been using FOTO in her clinics for over 3 years. Please reach out to Lori with questions at lorineill@bellnet.ca