Measuring the clinical effectiveness of all healthcare services is a fundamental component of evaluating the impact care has on the service user. A community-based MSK physiotherapy service in Mid Essex has been using a validated and multi-dimensional outcome tool, the Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ), since April 2017 to evaluate clinical effectiveness.
The service also recognised the importance of working in different ways to improve efficiency and matching treatments based on prognostic subgroups (stratified care) has been shown to be both clinically and cost-effective in the management of low back pain using the STarT Back Screening Tool. However, risk stratified care for all MSK disorders is in its relative infancy, with the Keele STarT MSK Tool yet to be fully validated scientifically, although Keele University granted permission for the MSK physiotherapy service to use the tool for clinical purposes in April 2018.
The service was therefore able to collect data from all appropriate MSK patients receiving treatment from April 2018 to March 2019 to evaluate whether good clinical outcomes and positive patient experience were demonstrated whilst delivering a more efficient risk-stratified care approach.