Acute Care

The FIM® instrument was designed to assess disability and functional status, but a number of factors may complicate or prevent its use in an acute hospital setting. These include:

  • Illness severity
  • Short stays
  • Limited contact time with staff
  • Interruptions for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures
  • Lack of access, supplies, and/or space to complete motor or ADL items

UDSMR’s AcuteFIM® instrument is designed for use in acute care hospital settings and provides a reliable link to the FIM® instrument used in post-acute care settings. The three-level, six-item AcuteFIM® instrument helps to project the burden of care/help needed, total FIM® rating, and indicated discharge setting. This information can help guide clinicians in planning discharge placement options with, and communicating them to, post-acute care clinicians.

The six items used in the AcuteFIM® instrument (four motor items and two cognitive items) were selected from the FIM® instrument for their practicality, as each is routinely addressed in the acute hospital setting. The items include Eating, Grooming, Bowel Management, Toilet transfers, expression and memory. Due to the familiarity with these items from the FIM® instrument and the three-level rating system (No Helper-Independent, Helper-Modified Dependence, and Helper-Complete Dependence), the AcuteFIM® instrument can be used easily by acute hospital staff, across all disciplines. The link with the FIM® instrument also means measuring functional status at all levels in the continuum of care.

The AcuteFIM® instrument should be administered with the first three days of the acute stay. Multiple assessments can and should be done throughout the acute care stay, prior to discharge, in order to help predict appropriate placement and thereby lowering readmission rates. The AcuteFIM® instrument can apply as part of the pre-admission screening for transfers of patients to a rehabilitation program. It is also useful in outcomes management when periodically comparing the projected and actual post-acute discharge settings.

Implementation requires little setup time. Users are not required to load or maintain special software on their computers as the AcuteFIM® instrument is an Internet-based application and can be used in any of the latest browser versions including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. Easy-to-complete assessment forms are entered online and coding forms and comparison graphs can be immediately printed for internal use. Interfacing capabilities between the AcuteFIM® instrument and your own medical record documentation software is possible.