Objectives. Interest in costing health care delivery on an individual case basis has increased in recent years as concern with overall health care costs has heightened. Costing exercises have been largely oriented around medical classification systems. Measures to incorporate the contributions of allied health activities such as occupational therapy are relatively recent. The objective of this study was to examine the attitudes and opinions of senior occupational therapy managers toward workload measurement on the basis of case mix.
Method. A survey was sent to all 198 senior occupational therapy managers in accredited Canadian facilities, which was completed by 182 respondents for a response rate of 92%. The questionnaire asked about workload measurement system(s) currently used, satisfaction with the system(s), and needs and expectations of workload systems in general.
Results. The majority of respondents were using a time recording workload measurement system and expressed relatively low levels of satisfaction with it. Current systems were unable to provide costing data, which respondents ranked as very important for themselves as managers. The majority of respondents believed that it would be useful or very useful to be able to cost occupational therapy services by a diagnostic grouping system and to establish standard protocols per diagnosis, standard times per procedure per institution, and standard times per procedure for the profession.
Conclusion. There is support for developing or expanding current methods of measuring workload. Senior occupational therapy managers would like to be able to predict their workload prospectively, a step that will accommodate the move toward case costing and program management.