Whether web-based or server-based, your physical therapy documentation system should be helping your practice increase productivity.
Nitin Chhoda differentiates these two types of physical therapy EMR documentation, and explains that choosing the right system should not be based on the price alone.
Common Sense Is the Key
In the same way, each practice has to manage their physical therapy documentation in the way that makes the most sense for the staff.
If a practice consists of just a handful of people, you may be able to make a decision based on what everyone is comfortable with.
There are, of course, also the financial considerations. Can your physical therapy documentation practice afford the one-time expenses of purchasing a server, or would you be better served by paying monthly for a web-based EMR solution?
There are many questions you should ask yourself as you look into different solutions, and the specific answers for your practice will not be the same as they are for any other practice.
Dollars and Cents
The first consideration for almost every practice manager when it comes to physical therapy documentation is the cost. But the costs of each solution are not as simple as they may seem at first. On the one hand, an in-house server will cost a lot up front.
But many of the truly worthwhile web-based EMR solutions are not cheap, either, and you may end up spending the same amount of money, but over a different period of time.
For a small physical therapy documentation practice, spending money slowly is often better than spending it all at once. For a larger practice, the cost of installing an in-house server may be offset by the gains in productivity that tens or hundreds of staff members achieve with a server-based physical therapy documentation solution.
It turns out that the price difference will not be as significant as you might be lead to believe. So check your prices carefully before assuming that the “cheaper” option is the best just because it costs less right now. There may be set-up costs related to a web-based physical therapy documentation EMR, but its only because it requires that everyone has a computer and that the office has a high speed Internet connection that never goes down.
This is another area where the decision may not be as simple as it seems. Server-based EMRs will always be a tiny bit faster, saving everyone a few seconds here and there.
That time can add up and make a difference; the last thing you want is for clinicians to be waiting for the program to load. But for a smaller physical therapy documentation practice, the time is not as significant and the benefits are not as clear-cut.
The convenience of a web-based solution is often a major selling point. With login information, anyone who needs to access the system can do so, no matter where they are, as long as they have an Internet connection.
As with every stage of the decision-making process, the best solution for your practice’s physical therapy documentation needs will be specific to your practice. There are a lot of things to weigh in making this decision, but remember that what you choose should be useful, convenient, and intuitive for the staff.