FOTO Outcome Measures, Evidenced Based Medicine and Physical Therapy

Jul 10, 2017

Our clinics are rolling out a new electronic outcome measurement system called FOTO. You may notice at the beginning of your first appointment you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire before seeing the Physical Therapist. So what does this mean to you, the patient?

What is an Outcome Measure?
An outcome measure is “the result of a test that is used to objectively determine the baseline function of a patient at the beginning of treatment. Once treatment has commenced, the same instrument can be used to determine progress and treatment efficacy. With the move towards Evidence Based Practice in the health sciences, objective measures of outcome are important to provide credible and reliable justification for treatment”.

This means, that the Physiotherapist will collect information in regards to the condition of your injury from the start of your initial visit. This information will be taken into account when formulating the treatment plan which determines how frequently you attend the clinic for treatment and your opinion on the status of your injury during treatment. Surveys will be administered at the initial visit, and then after approximately three weeks, another survey will be issued by the clinic so you can self-report on your status and ability to complete your daily tasks. Depending on the length of your treatment, another survey may be sent at approximately the six-week mark. Then, a follow up survey will be sent at the end of your treatment(s) to assess your opinion of the results now that you are discharged from care.

What is Evidence Based Practice (EBP)?
In general, evidence base practice is the integration of external evidence (research, prognostic factors), individual practitioner clinical experience and patient values/expectations. When these components are combined, they will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for the patient. With the information received during the surveys throughout treatment, the Physiotherapist can review the results of their practice and ensure that the treatment plan they have set up for you, is the creating the results you both have anticipated in your Physiotherapy treatments with the Clinics.


Why use FOTO and what does this mean for you?
The FOTO system is a great tool to help the physical therapist identify prognostic factors (both positive and negative), measure objective progress in treatment, identify the criteria required to discharge a patient from care, and to formulate the treatment plan and frequency of follow up visits, based specifically on the needs of that individual patient. Patient self-report outcomes have been endorsed and utilized by the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine and all current National and International practice guidelines. Foto in particular, is used by over 19,000 Clinicians in Canada and the US.

Collectively, this all means increased quality of care for you, the patient. Not only does this lead to improved patient outcomes and quality of care, but it also improves the therapeutic relationship between the patient and the physical therapist.

When you book for your initial visit, the receptionist will instruct you to fill out some pre-visit information via email. If you are unable to complete it before you come in, expect during your first visit to fill out an electronic questionnaire, given to you by the receptionist or your physical therapist.  Please plan to arrive 10-15min earlier to your appointment time to complete paperwork including the informed consent and to get started with the new FOTO system.

All of the results from FOTO will be kept confidential between yourself and your therapist. The receptionist will print a copy of the results and save it them to your file, in an encrypted password protected system. The results can be printed for you at any time to review.

If you have any questions in regards to FOTO, please email us at

To book an appointment, please call 780-458-8505.



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We understand that you may have a few questions before visiting our clinics for your initial appointment.

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