Occupational therapy personnel spend considerable time on functional assessment and documentation. The rapid and error-free information processing ability of computers offers methods for data collection, clinical decision making, and reporting of functional assessment results, which may be more effective and efficient than the current paper-and-pencil methods.
Computers can provide assistance throughout the many steps of the functional assessment and reporting process. Software is available to assist in direct data collection, data reduction, and analysis, or to assess complex data systems and databases. Additionally, computers can use assessment techniques, such as dynamic question sets and expert systems, which have not been possible with paper-and-pencil methods. Furthermore, data collected on computers are readily available to be integrated in computer-assisted report writing and can be compiled into large databases for analysis. These databases can be used for program evaluation, continuous quality improvement exercises, and other research objectives. This paper provides a snapshot of these computer uses in the assessment process.