Ault B, Levy D. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Use in the Emergency Department: A Retrospective Medical Record Review. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2015;115(3):132–137. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2015.026.
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Context: Although the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) appears to be declining, data on the use of OMT in the emergency department (ED) are not available.
Objective: To determine the quantity and characteristics of OMT performed in a single, community academic ED that houses an osteopathic emergency medicine residency.
Design: Retrospective medical record review.
Setting: A single large community academic ED with an osteopathic emergency medicine residency from July 14, 2005, to March 4, 2013.
Participants: Patients in the ED who received OMT (N=2076).
Main Outcome Measures: Medical record data were analyzed to determine patient demographics; treatment characteristics including number of procedures and patients per physician, OMT techniques used, night vs day procedure variation, and financial implication of future billing for OMT; chief complaints; primary discharge diagnoses; and length of stay in the ED.
Results: Patients were aged 0 to 95 years (mean, 39 years) and were predominately female (1260 [60.69%]) and white (1300 [62.62%]). A mean of 0.74 patients received OMT per day, and a mean of 29.65 procedures were performed per physician. When data for residents were looked at separately, the mean was higher at 40.32 procedures per physician. The top 3 discharge diagnoses were low back pain (189 patients [9.10%]), muscle spasm (106 patients [5.11%]), and spasm: muscle, back (93 patients [4.48%]). Eleven different OMT techniques were recorded, with myofascial release being used most frequently (1150 of 2868 procedures [40.09%]), followed by muscle energy (672 [23.43%]). The average length of stay in the ED was 206 minutes. A total of 1663 OMT procedures (80%) were performed during the day, whereas 413 (20%) were performed at night. Potential procedural billing for all OMT performed during the study period was $33.09 per day.
Conclusion: In contrast to perceptions that OMT use is declining, the authors found that OMT is being performed on a near daily basis in the ED. Additional research is needed to fully understand the impact of OMT in the ED.
Various reports in the literature suggest limited use of osteopathic manipulative treatment among osteopathic physicians. In this study, the authors assess osteopathic manipulative treatment use in an emergency department.
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