The Activity Performance Measure (APM) is an innovative and practical tool giving clinicians new opportunities to demonstrate key clinical outcomes and the need for therapy. With a focus on how people perform a broad range of everyday activities (occupational performance) and participation (social inclusion), the APM throws a new light on the impact of clinical services in these priority life domains for service users, funders, commissioners and therapists.
Chart showing where a person improved performance during rehab
The APM is standardised, validated and highly responsive to changes in activity performance and participation (it will even capture the changes in routine commonly seen during a bad head cold!). Once therapists have become familiar with the measure via online training, then it takes less than 10 minutes to complete and is then ready for attachment to the clinical record. Thanks to a unique app, the APM automatically generates convincing, attractive charts and reports, which show needs before clinical input and the progress made during the admission. An additional unique feature is the ability to report on the compensatory adaptations which are often seen in supporting people with chronic health problems, such as equipment change, moving and handling advice or carer input. The APM uses language that is clear and understandable for non-specialists and aligns perfectly with the Care Act 2014 outcomes and needs. The app does not just allow that data and charts to be cut-and-pasted into reports for funders (see Downloads tab for examples). In response to user feedback, it also can be used to show changes in carer input and care costs.
To see how the APM can give you the power to convince commissioners, funders and managers watch this 10-minute video of the app in action. This is the APM case report for this example – the clinician enters the assessment information and then the app prepares the summaries for print or attachment to electronic records.
Promote and safeguard your service
The APM is now being used by occupational therapists in the private sector, and also NHS teams in community, Reablement and stroke services. To see the benefits of cutting-edge outcome reporting, take a look at the simulated outcome reports for case managers and private OTs on the Downloads page. Additionally combined team reports are available for stroke ESD and community Reablement teams.
In these increasingly challenging times, reporting with high-quality outcome statistics and a visually attractive presentation are the best way to promote and safeguard services, both private and NHS.
The APM is intended for use with people aged 18 and over who live in the community. Anyone educated to degree level in a healthcare-related subject can be an APM user.
What makes the APM different?
The APM covers a much broader range of activities than the standard ADL measures, and looks at basic mobility, personal care, domestic activities, productivity, social and leisure activities and community transport. This allows individual lifestyles and performance preferences to be respected in reporting.
Scoring is also novel, and focuses on tangible, easily identified aspects of performance. Each APM point represents a significant change in performance in that activity, increasing reliability and making communication easy with service users, other professionals and funders. The APM has shown itself to be highly responsive to clinical change – for more information see the validity study published in Disability and Rehabilitation journal, the NHS evaluation reports and further information on the site.
Another unique difference in the APM is the use of digital technology to enable high-quality and convenient reporting. The APM apps are based in Microsoft Excel and are incredibly easy to use. On the single service user app, clinicians simply record service user identifying details, enter the APM scores and some basic assessment information, and after that the app automatically generates a whole range of information about how the person’s activity performance and participation has changed in response to health problems and rehabilitation. This includes summaries of changes both large and small, and convincing graphical representations. In addition, the APM shows changes in carer hours and costs – vitally convincing information for funders and commissioners.
The second APM app collates the results of groups of service users so that you can report on your service as a whole. Once again most of the process is automatic. The result is the power to show definitively how your service is helping service users achieve key changes in their lives, reduce care costs and meet Care Act 2014 needs and outcomes. The content can be printed, pasted into your Word documents, turned into PDFs and attached to clinical records.
The APM also has a range of tools for reporting on the combined results of clinical teams. Grouped patient scores can be combined, analysed and presented in comprehensive and robust reports, which show commissioners and others what your service achieves.
The overarching aim is to make evidence-based practice and reporting widely available, while using minimal time and resources. The effective use of digital technologies ensures that clinicians with relatively limited experience of formal statistic reporting can be confident of producing robust and appropriate reports for internal and external stakeholders.
The APM is now free to use.
Click here for online training, certification and other resources.
For information about the Activity Performance Measure contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
® Phil Murgatroyd 2019 All rights reserved