It’s important for physical therapists to keep in touch with their patients throughout the year and not just when they make an appointment. Nitin Chhoda elaborates on how electronic medical record (EMR) software provides the tools to build and maintain an ongoing relationship with patients and transform them into a primary source of referrals.

EMRFamiliarity Breeds Referrals

Patients want to know that their business is appreciated. They’re busy and have dozens of options available when choosing a healthcare professional.

They want to feel that they’re more than just an insurance card or a paycheck. Clinicians must reach out to them.

An electronic medical record makes it easy, simple and streamlines the process.

Practitioners must strive to create an improved relationship with patients to increase the chances of referrals. They have to like, trust and be familiar with the therapist before they feel comfortable enough to refer them to friends and family.

Practitioners must keep their names in front of patients and an EMR provides the means to do that.

Modern Communications

An integrated solution, such as the In Touch EMR™, offers multiple methods of connecting with patients in traditional and modern ways to form and maintain long-term relationships. Practitioners can use the abilities of an EMR to provide patients with gentle reminders without being invasive.

Communication is the key to creating a long-term relationship between patients and practitioners.

Note:  An EMR contains multiple mechanisms to communicate with patients.

When patient information is entered into an EMR, it provides clinicians with eight pieces of data that can be used to inform, educate and connect with their clientele.

Therapists should automatically collect the needed patient information, including their email address and cell phone number. Practitioners can take advantage of the built-in abilities and data residing in the EMR to send clients offers, announcements and eBooks, along with voice and text messages. Patients must give permission for the contact, with the option of ending the communication when they desire.

An EMR Facilitates Communication in a Variety of Ways

EMRClinicians can keep in touch with patients through mail, email, phone and cell phones, and voice and text messages.

All those methods can be used to mark the client’s anniversary with the practice, the patient’s birthday, and send a variety of patient reminders.

Most text messages are read within five minutes of receipt, making them a reliable vehicle of communication.

Electronic medical records provide practice owners with automated options that can be used to deliver newsletters, greeting cards and special offers. Clinicians should endeavor to use at least two or three of the available communication options. With the metrics contained in an EMR, practitioners can also track patients who make a large number of referrals.

Integrated EMRs will soon be the standard in private practices, hospitals, labs and pharmacies across the nation. They streamline all facets of the office and reimbursement process, and provide automated methods of connecting with patients to build relationships that generate referrals.

EMRs have the necessary tools to help practitioners expand their reach and transform patients into an ongoing source of referrals.