Physical Therapy EMR Checklist For Your Practice

Physical Therapy EMR Checklist For Your Practice

You have made the decision to convert your documentation into a physical therapy EMR software, now what?  How can you be sure that you’re getting the best product at the best price, and one that will help maximize your documentation process? 

Nitin Choda provides you with a checklist that outlines key areas you will need to consider in order to choose the best and the right software for your practice.

physical therapy EMRPhysical therapy electronic medical records solution is sometimes hard to find. The same is true when picking a restaurant to eat at. We need help in finding the right product.

If you are feeling a little lost and confused by all the options available for a physical therapy EMR products, don’t worry: picking a good solution isn’t as hard as it might seem.

Just keep your eye on the goal, and your hands on this checklist.

Find a decent price.  Price is important. A lower price doesn’t always mean a worse product, and a low price also means you will have more money in your bank for other things. Try to find the cheapest physical therapy EMR that you are comfortable with, and that does everything you need, but not at the expense of inefficiency.

Does it fulfill your needs?  Physical therapy EMR has different requirements from other electronic medical records. After all, you are dealing with physical activities more often than drug dosages. Look for a product that makes documentation simple because much of what you will be doing is documentation.

You need to make sure that the physical therapy EMR you picked is actually capable of doing what you need it to do. That means getting your hands on a copy and simulating the activities you would do throughout the day. If you find that part of your process has been left out by the solution, well, you know it isn’t for you.

Is billing integrated?  This might seem like a minor thing, but keeping billing integrated with patient information is the best possible way to ensure that you handle billing as efficiently as possible.

Billing is never fun, but you shouldn’t have to keep an extra database just to deal with it. Make sure that physical therapy EMR billing is integrated with your documentation software. And you will be glad you did.

Can you document your patients quickly?  The fewer clicks, the better. How quickly can you document what is happening with your patient? The tool should be capable of handling rapid note taking.

It should be able to handle you recording your every observation, and archive those observations in a way that you can get to quickly. In short, your physical therapy EMR solution should be ready to handle your patient load.

Can you schedule new appointments easily?  Appointments are the bread and butter of your practice. Without them, there would be no physical therapy. You won’t even need to use your physical therapy EMR tools. Make sure that your tool is prepared to schedule and manage appointments.physical therapy EMR checklist

What does your staff think?  Let your staff try out the physical therapy EMR software. If they don’t like it, or they can’t use it, then it doesn’t matter how many features it has. A piece of software is only as good as its user interface, especially when it comes to something used every single day.

Is it mobile?  Physical therapy involves moving around. You shouldn’t be constrained to a desktop computer when using a physical therapy EMR solution. It should support iPads, so you can carry a single, lightweight computer with you at all times, documenting everything as it happens in real time.

Electronic Medical Records System Top Five Benefits

Electronic Medical Records System Top Five Benefits

There are many benefits that an electronic medical record system can give. In this article, Nitin Chhoda emphasizes on the top five most important benefits that EMR can provide so that practitioners who have not adopt the EMR system yet will understand its importance.

electronic medical records

Electronic medical records are the next big thing in physical therapy management.

When EMR systems are fully adopted by all facilities, you are going to see a major change in how medicine is practiced.

Here are the top five benefits of using an electronic medical records system if you are a physical therapist.

BENEFITS OF ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS

Easy Access to Records.  With electronic medical records, keeping track of your patients’ records is simple. Your database should be easily searchable, so you can instantly pull up all the information you have on the patient from exercise and appointment schedules to the medications they are taking.

That means no paper records to flip through, the ability to instantly search the documents for information, and no unintelligible hand-written notes.  Electronic medical records is really the ultimate physical therapy management solution.

Document Completely.  With electronic medical records, you can easily document everything that a patient does in real time. From arrival to billing to the appointment itself, all information can be listed in the database to give you a complete record of everything about the patient.

And, because of the easy access to records, all that information is immediately available on the database to anyone who might need access.

Send Records Easily.  Sending electronic medical records using your physical therapy management software should streamline inter-office communications.  Most EMR solutions integrate seamlessly with online cloud storage, and through these cloud storage solutions you can get the records to any other healthcare provider that the patient is working with.

It doesn’t even matter if the other facility has fully integrated electronic medical records for physical therapy services.  You can still access the files as long as you have a computer connected to the internet. Relying on physical therapy management software with full EMR will help bring physical therapy into the next century, ridding practices of outdated technology and wasted energy and effort.

Easy Billing.  Physical therapy billing can be a pain.  As with all forms of accounting, keeping the information synced to the patient is difficult. Electronic medical records and physical therapy documentation can make the process far more comfortable.

electronic medical records benefitsWith physical therapy scheduling software, you can time alerts for when your patients are coming, keep track how much they owe, how long it took for them to pay last time, and where to send the bill.

Physical therapy software makes billing patients an incredibly simple procedure and reduces the chance of mistakes.

No Chicken Scratches.  This might be the most important one.  In the medical profession, a remarkable number of doctors have terrible handwriting.

An electronic medical records solution means no chicken scratches. 

All information is entered in on a computer screen, whether it is an iPad for a mobile solution or a desktop office computer for a more stationary one.  That means that all the information is nicely organized, printed cleanly, and is easy to understand.In other words: you won’t have to worry about others not being able to read your handwriting.

Electronic Medical Records System: How Many Actually Uses It?

Electronic Medical Records System: How Many Actually Uses It?

Many private practice owners still have not switched over to an electronic medical records system. Perhaps most of them thought that having an automated system would be complicated.

Nitin Chhoda shares how physical therapy software can help your practice in the long run using the right implementation.

electronic medical recordsElectronic medical records is a new and modern way in a private practice business, while paper medical record systems still dominate the market.

However, the fact is that paper medical records are waning fast.

Paper documentation systems are a relic of time when physical therapists didn’t have the choice of simple, efficient, and precise EMR software.

The Current Status of EMR System

At the moment, only 10% of those practicing in health care fields have a fully functioning electronic medical records system.  As of 2009, 20% had the most basic beginnings of a system, but still relied heavily on paper documentation.

Over the past three years it is likely that that percentage is growing, or that many systems have been updated.  A more remarkable statistic is that only 1.5% of hospitals have integrated IT systems.

Half of those that do are government facilities, meaning that private practices are lagging behind. Most private practices are staffed by about 9 people, however, which makes that number less shocking.

With so few facilities using electronic medical records technology, you might wonder why you should adopt it in the first place.

The fact is that while very few firms might run physical therapy management software, there are still a number of advantages for those that do.  Electronic medical records improve efficiency, accuracy, and quality of care.

Implementing the Electronic Medical Record

Any practice that implements electronic medical records software benefits from digitized records: easy access to patient information, the ability to sign patients in instantaneously, and massively improved handling of cancellations and no-show patients.

Electronic medical records simplify the life of a physical therapist by making it easy to manage patients, data, and finances.  And you have the incredible ability to access your patient’s files and tests with the press of a button, instantaneously pulling up all the records you have on each patient.

In some offices, the physical therapists simply carry an iPad around, and type in the name of the patient before you walk into the room, instantly reviewing a listing of all pertinent information. Electronic medical records make patient care simpler and more effective.

You’ll also be handling records that are type-written, rather than hand-written. A surprising number of mistakes are made by physical therapists and physicians because they just couldn’t read the notes in a medical record.

But electronic medical records systems for physical therapy management aren’t just good for your firm.  With a simple piece of software, you can send and receive complete records between offices. Download the software, press a few buttons, and another facility has the files.  It really is that simple.  EMR data management solutions ensure that everyone who cares for a patient always has the most recent information.

electronic medical records usersEMR is the Solution

When the number of firms with the technology reaches a certain point, the perception will be that every firm needs an EMR solution.

You can get ahead of the trend now by starting the process and going electronic for you, your patients, and the entire practice.

But even if your physical therapy office is unique in being equipped with medical records solution, electronic medical records  would still be helpful.  More and more facilities are adopting EMR for physical therapy services, and soon we will see a shift.

Physical Therapy Management: Understanding the Patient Healthcare System in the United States

Physical Therapy Management: Understanding the Patient Healthcare System in the United States

Nitin Chhoda discusses the current patient healthcare system in the United States.  He explains how the current system will change the status of physical therapy management, its transition to EMR, and its effect on patients’ security of information.

physical therapy managementPhysical therapy management healthcare reform has been a long time coming and President Obama’s initiatives represent a beginning with enormous possibilities.

At the core of healthcare reform is providing access to quality health care services to all in an affordable cost.

Health information technology for physical therapy management is essential in achieving that goal, but to realize its full potential, it’s important to understand the patient healthcare system in the U.S.

Healthcare costs and physical therapy management in the U.S. exceed those in many other countries, yet the quality of patient care can vary widely among providers and regions of the country.

President Obama has a goal of utilizing electronic medical records (EMR) by 2014, a move that can radically improve patient care across the board.

The Healthcare System

The healthcare system in the U.S. can be slow, ponderous and delay essential treatment due to a lack of patient records or availability of insurance. Coordination of care is one of the largest problems facing any healthcare provider and efficient physical therapy management depends on accurate records from all available sources.

Partial records and lost documents result in redundant testing and expensive procedures, when funds could be better utilized to treat patients.

Healthcare in the U.S. is a multi-tiered system administered by a variety of physical therapy management providers, facilities and reimbursement plans. It’s a reactive system that focuses on treating illness, ailments and conditions after they occur, rather than emphasizing ways to avoid problems before they happen.

Effective patient treatment and physical therapy management are built through ongoing relationships, but continuity of care is often broken when a client loses their insurance.

physical therapy management understandingThe EMR Technology

Information technology of physical therapy management, such as EMRs, provide physical therapists with a complete, integrated record for each patient that will significantly reduce costs on all levels by eliminating redundant tests, therapies and treatments.

The implementation of health care technology and effective physical therapy management are essential for better patient care and to meet the healthcare demands of a growing population.

Physical therapy clinics must remain profitable, but many patients seeking physical therapy management and services are those insured through Medicare, Medicaid and similar programs that dictate unrealistic reimbursement limits and caps.

Health information technology that includes electronic medical record systems allows therapists to offer an enhanced level of patient care and verify insurance coverage to expedite the treatment process.

Protection of Patients

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The law provides for increased access to healthcare services to many who had none before. It further seeks to limit expenses for consumers and move to a system of electronic medical records that offers extensive advantages for physical therapy management services.

EMRs represent the first generation of electronic records to manage patient health care more efficiently and assist in meeting the government’s goals of expanded access and overall savings within the healthcare industry.

For physical therapists, health information technology provides greater profitability through electronic billing submissions. Therapists have access to complete patient records, eliminating the need for costly physical therapy management and redundant testing that can delay critical treatments, while facilitating change in the patient healthcare system.

Electronic Medical Records –  How to Implement?

Electronic Medical Records – How to Implement?

Although switching to EMR will make the documentation process better, there are some factors that need to be considered before expecting a smooth transition.

Nitin Chhoda points out that open communication with staff before, during, and after implemenation is important.  He will discuss how and why managing your staff’s expectations is crucial, and how to handle any rough patches during the change over process.

electronic medical recordsElectronic medical records are sometimes feared by clinicians and medical managers because of wrong implementation that may not actually improve the business and remain stagnant instead.

Implementation is going to be the toughest time, as everyone will probably be adjusting their workflow and accomplishing tasks more slowly than before.

But this shouldn’t discourage you from making the necessary changes. You will learn a lot through implementation of your electronic medical records and you can use that to your advantage.

Before Implementation

The best way to ensure that implementing electronic medical records goes smoothly for your practice is to plan and prepare beforehand. You should have a time leading up to implementation when all staff members can give input, voice concerns, and get the training they will need.

Remember this phrase: managing expectations.

If your staff expects the process to be difficult and frustrating, but things go smoothly, you will find that electronic medical records implementation will be easier. But if you try to convince the staff that it will be simple and straightforward, any problems will seem larger than they are in the grand scheme of things.

Make a plan, set goals, get buy-in and feedback, and give your staff the training they will need. Implementation will be a completely different experience if you prepare for the physical therapy electronic medical records implementation process.

When You Hit Tough Patches

electronic medical records implementationThere will be rough spots. Accept that now and you are halfway to dealing with them. The same is true for your staff’s attitude towards difficulties.

Let them know that you expect it to take a bit of time in implementing electronic medical records system before everyone has adjusted and that you want them to deal with problems rather than brush over them.

Problems that arise will educate you on how to improve the system to meet the needs of staff. Use each problem as if it is an opportunity. Talk to staff and the software developers so changes can be made right from the start.

Others Have Been There Before

Another important thing to remember is that you aren’t the first practice to implement physical therapy software for electronic medical records management. There are incredible resources out there that can help you along the way. From choosing the right physical therapy EMR to dealing with issues during EMR implementation, you can find resources online.

Electronic medical records system implementation could present some struggles for you and your staff. But those struggles don’t have to be disasters.

Makes sure that you and your staff have access to training materials and resources and that everyone is encouraged to ask questions. If you can manage the expectations of the staff, ensure that they are on board even before electronic medical records implementation starts, and give them support during the process, things will go more smoothly.

Electronic medical records of physical therapy software has been improving, but that doesn’t mean the prefect fit has been established. Another critical part of ensuring that implementation goes well is that you choose the right software. Take your time and do the research to determine what will work best for your practice.

Physical Therapy EMR Top Five Advantages

Physical Therapy EMR Top Five Advantages

Many physical therapy business owners are not yet convinced they should make the change over to automated documentation.

Nitin Chhoda enumerates the five advantages that physical therapy EMR can give, and how it can affect the entire process of a practices’ documentation from scheduling to billing.

physical therapy EMRPhysical therapy EMR system is obviously going electronic and is starting to look more and more like the obvious choice for physical therapy software.

Many physical therapy EMR systems handle everything from physical therapy documentation to billing to scheduling.

Just in case you’re not convinced, here are the top five advantages of physical therapy EMR for all of your PT documentation software needs.

#5: Integrated Billing

Many clinicians find this to be one of the most obvious benefits, but it cannot be stressed enough. When you implement physical therapy software that offers complete physical therapy EMR transition, your business has the opportunity to get much, much more efficient. Medical billing is a complex job, and EMR for physical therapy services can make it just a bit simpler.

Because billing, scheduling, and electronic medical records will all be tracked by the same system, you can expect things to be more intuitive.

Medical billing can involve many steps and should include aging reports and follow-ups. A good physical therapy EMR system will allow you to set reminders and collect insurance and patient payments in a more efficient manner.

#4: Professionalismphysical therapy EMR advantages

Your practice with an integrated physical therapy EMR services will give patients even more confidence about your services.

It turns out that the way patients perceive your office will make a difference – both new and continuing patients may decide your practice is not organized enough and walk out the door at any time.

If you show them a standard of paperwork, billing, and timely communications, they will respect the practice and feel more confident.

Additionally, physical therapy EMR can help busy therapists to keep all of their patients straight. No one is expected to remember every detail of every appointment. Electronic medical records make it quicker and easier to get caught up.

#3: Reporting and Profitability

A fully integrated physical therapy EMR will allow you to track the indicators that you want to check. How often do cancelled appointments remain empty? How often do referrals lead to a consistent new client? If you can get these numbers quickly and easily, you can use them to make your practice more profitable and efficient.

#2: EMRs are Coming

Physical therapy EMR and billing are the directions we’re all headed anyway. Why? Because they cut down on expenses and wasted time, which means you’ll be wasting less money on inefficient procedures. Implementing a physical therapy EMR now will ensure that you are on track to work with the rest of the medical community in the most efficient and practical way.

#1: Precision, Accessibility, Accountability

With physical therapy EMR and software that is designed by and for physical therapists, you can improve precision and accountability. When a system is intuitive to use and provides short cuts for a fast and constantly changing workflow, everyone gets better at their job. And if there is ever any question about why a decision was made or how a situation was handled, all the information will be together in one very easily accessible place.