How to Empower Occupational Therapists through Data-Driven Decision Making

Data-driven decision making enables occupational therapists to organize their reasoning and provides them with a framework for documenting the process of data collection. It leads them to measure the outcomes of a patient’s treatment better.

Data-driven decision making can also empower stakeholders like family members or teachers who have an impact on the life of a child by encouraging full participation in the child’s treatment.


It is critical to capture each stakeholder’s perception of a child’s strengths and interactions with daily challenges. Every sensory feature affects the child’s ability to function during regular daily routines, so giving stakeholders the knowledge they need to address these challenges is very important.

The clinical reasoning and data that DDDM enables practitioners to collect help them reduce the time it takes to score assessments and determine effective long-term treatment plans.


Occupational therapists have to rely on careful observation across a multitude of environments. The tools at their disposal accelerate their ability to perform these necessary tasks quickly while keeping to critical standardized practices.

These tools can then be used as a starting point for facilitating problem-solving and other idea generation from key stakeholders to support the child in every environment. It makes treatment more efficient across multiple facets of the child’s life, including school, home, hospitals, and clinics.

Best practices identify the importance of involving the child’s family and school staff to set goals for treatment. The participation of everyone is pivotal in an improved life for the child, beginning while they’re young and extending into adulthood.


By setting a precedent of involvement from all stakeholders, occupational therapists can promote more communication. Collaborative empowerment and positive results from the brainstorming activities drive increased participation and engagement.

When stakeholders feel a sense of ownership in the process and can attribute the results to their direct involvement, they are more apt to participate further.

Empowerment from Data

The law requires collecting data and monitoring the progress of all individuals with disabilities. This patient education and tracking over time help gather informative data and identify trends for the goal of a better understanding of these disabilities.

Consistent data collection over time helps inform therapists, patients, and stakeholders, empowering better decision making and overall progress. Research also maintains the viability of the occupational therapy profession.

By establishing a culture dedicated to research, we can reduce time barriers to data collection and facilitate increased discovery. It also enables the industry to establish best practices, reducing even more time barriers and facilitating the development of better treatment plans.

Hope for the Future

By using standardized tools, encouraging participation from stakeholders, and analyzing the data, occupational therapists can attain better outcomes. Using the data available, brainstorming more effective treatment plans is possible, empowering everyone involved to engage in a more personalized and relevant approach to care.

We can see a reduction in challenges over time as access to data improves, resulting in the ability to empower occupational therapists and other stakeholders even further.


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