Wednesday, 02 January 2013 01:34

Establishing an Acceptance and Discharge Criteria for Aquatic Therapy

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This sample provided courtesy of How to Successfully Launch an Aquatic Therapy Practice manual.

Comprehensive Aquatic Therapy Policy & Procedure manual available for sale here.


Sample Discharge Criteria for Pool Therapy

Policy: The following procedures will be followed during the discharge of any pool patients


1. A person referred by a physician for pool therapy will be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. A person referred to pool therapy will be accepted when:          

  • Signed written orders exist detailing: name, diagnosis, precaution, rehab potential, goals, duration of treatment, frequency of treatment and treatment requested and
  • The patient is diagnosed with a disease or condition which is likely to improve with pool therapy,


  • The patient or patient representative agree on a course of treatment proposed or ordered as interpreted to them by pool therapist.

 2. Priority for evaluation/treatment will be given to patients in the following order:

a. Inpatients and those in acute need of service.

b. Outpatients and less acute need of service.

3. A patient will be discontinued from pool therapy when:

  • Therapy is discontinued by a physician.
  • The goals have been met.
  • The course of therapy as prescribed has been completed.
  • An outpatients insurance program will no longer cover therapy and the patient chooses not to pay


  • In a two week period, there is no evidence of progress toward stated goals.
  • When two consecutive appointments are missed without notifying the therapist.

4. Outpatient therapy will continue as orders indicate or are renewed every thirty days.

5. A referring professional is notified when a patient is discharged or when a substantial change in the treatment program is indicated.

6. If the referring physician is outside the medical center the therapist will send copies of documentation to the physician as requested.

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Stonehill Franciscan Services

Created By: Andrea Salzman | Last Modified: March-23-2013

ATU Affiliate Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque uses their new HydroWorx therapy pool to treat a local school teacher with Guilliain-Barre Syndrome. ...

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