Digitisation in Belgian Physiotherapy

Digitisation in Belgian Physiotherapy

In the coming years the Belgian professional association “Axxon, Physical Therapy in Belgium” will focus on the digitisation of the practice for physiotherapy, with first the rollout of the electronic physiotherapy health record. The aim is that by mid-2020 all 23.154 Belgian physiotherapists will be fully digitised.

  • First, the physiotherapist will register the physiotherapy interventions of the common disorders. The budget for physiotherapy treatments of common disorders rises to 289 million euros, which corresponds to 42.1% of the total budget for physiotherapy in Belgian health care. In order to be able to use these scarce available resources more effectively, it is important to know what happens within this budget.
    The Belgian physiotherapists are working with mandatory prescription, so the medical diagnosis on the physician’s prescription will be registered with ICD 10/11 coding each treatment sequence. In addition, the physiotherapist will encode his physiotherapy work diagnosis with Snomed. Other context elements in the registration are the age of the patient, the region where he is living, possible elements of co-morbidity and the reasons why the treatment was discontinued.
    All data are collected anonymously on a data platform and analysed with the cooperation of universities. Based on these results, it will be possible to deduce how many treatments are performed  on average with which pathology, which pathologies require more physiotherapy interventions  and which, on the other hand, require less physiotherapy interventions.
  • The major part of the administration processes of the physiotherapists towards the insurance institutions (the health insurance funds) is still done on paper. This mainly concerns notifications of started treatments and applications to start treatments for severe chronic pathologies. We aim to make this administration completely digitised in the coming years.
    There’s no such thing as a free lunch and that is why it is the opinion of the professional association Axxon that for the maintenance of an electronic physiotherapy health record a substantial fee (honorarium/ honorary) must be provided. The negotiations with the Belgian government will have to clarify this issue!
  • By means of tele-rehabilitation and coaching, the patient / client can be monitored remotely and, if necessary, through feedback, the exercises can be easily adjusted which could increase the efficiency of physiotherapeutic interventions.
  • With scientifically developed digital programs we can screen the professional and recreational athlete, for prevention, rehabilitation and guidance. With validated online tests we will collect extensive data, which we can then analyse and report to the patient / client.
    Numerous online exercise libraries, completed with own exercises, offer numerous possibilities for tailor-made training, whether it is for injury prevention, performance improvement or rehabilitation.  

Peter Bruynooghe


Axxon, Physical Therapy in Belgium vzw/asbl

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