Physical Therapy Software: “Time Stamping” to Optimized Productivity

Physical Therapy Software: “Time Stamping” to Optimized Productivity

Nitin Chhoda expounds the main purpose of “time-stamping” by measuring productivity.

He also points out that this system should be done in a non-intrusive manner so that the staff and physical therapy management team will coordinate with each other to address the practice’ needs and optimize productivity.

physical therapy software productivityTime stamping is not a very new idea in the general sense. Emails are time stamped, as well as most photographs taken with digital cameras.

But time stamping in regard to physical therapy software is a very recent development, one that has the potential to improve productivity within your practice.

Gaining Productivity Starts with Measuring Productivity

For those professionals who work in practice management, measuring productivity has been imprecise, at best, and generally impossible.

Without proper physical therapy software, can you measure the success of a single visit with a patient? Does each physical therapist have daily goals for how many patients they will see? Is it worth everyone’s time to keep track of these details?

Some managers in a practice that has no physical therapy software yet focus on what they can quantify; because it is possible to find out how many patients a physical therapist sees in a day, you can measure how productive they have been based on the number of hours they have worked. But to gather the information takes time and energy, and most therapists would prefer to spend that time doing anything else.

Measuring Productivity In a Non-Intrusive Manner

No one wants to be grilled about their daily productivity; or even worse, who would want to write up reports on their own productivity? Requiring this kind of reporting and accountability without the use of physical therapy software can be very bad for morale.

The problem for a physical therapy practice will be measuring productivity. Therefore, the goal for the practice could be to find a way to measure productivity in a non-intrusive manner. The purpose of the goal will be to find ways to improve productivity, using measurable physical therapy software data.

physical therapy softwareEMR Solutions for Meeting Goals

This is the perfect goal to highlight when searching for an EMR for your practice. Time stamping is now used in some of the top physical therapy software EMR solutions as a way to keep track of the activity of each physical therapist, without forcing them to do the reporting.

Rather than focusing on productivity, time stamping is a way for each staff member to clock in and out each day.

But rather than simply tracking the hours that each staff member works, time stamping as part of an EMR system can use the information alongside other information tracked by the EMR, such as number of patients seen by each physical therapist.

Without needing to add much to the day of the staff member, the manager or owner of the practice with physical therapy software has now access to a measurable data stream for productivity.

Naturally, the question of productivity is more complex than how many patients are seen per day. But the number of visits divided by the number of hours spent at work will give a productivity measure that you can compare from one physical therapy software staff member to the next.

Reporting is Power

Once again, the real power of physical therapy software and EMR solution is to track information with minimal effort by the staff and then convert that information into valuable reports. Practice management can then use those reports to analyze the performance of staff members as well as the practice as a whole.

Physical Therapy Software : Helping Staff to Value Time Stamping

Physical Therapy Software : Helping Staff to Value Time Stamping

Generating reports to review your non-clinical staff and therapists’ productivity is now possible with the use of EMR system. 

Nitin Chhoda explains the value of relaying these changes to your staff, making it possible to discover productivity issues together and solve them immediately.

physical therapy software staffNot every staff member is going to feel good about clocking in and out each time they come to work.

If your staff already does that, then a physical therapy software and EMR with time stamping will be ideal for improving productivity over time.

But if the idea of clocking in and out will be new to the staff, it may take some careful and patient explanations to help them understand why practice management is now going to track their hours.

Remember to Engage Staff with Responsibilities

Recent research has shown that one of the ways to improve productivity among staff, within any field, is to empower staff by giving them important responsibilities such as handling physical therapy software.

When employees feel they have no important role to play, they become apathetic and lose initiative. In a physical therapy setting, the introduction of physical therapy software should happen with the help of the staff.

Staff members should feel that the physical therapy software is going to improve the quality of their job by helping them to reach their goals. One of those goals should be to optimize productivity.

Be Up-Front About Reporting

If physical therapy software is going to start measuring productivity, the staff should know that these kinds of reports will be generated. Consider this: if you do find out that one physical therapist is much less productive than the rest, how will you improve their productivity?

If they know you’ve been tracking performance, you can have a conversation about the number of patients they see per day and talk to them about why they think it is lower than other physical therapists in the practice.

But if you’ve been secretly monitoring productivity using physical therapy software system, when you confront the staff member they may feel caught off guard and singled out, not to mention spied upon. They will tell their co-workers and a rift between physical therapy software management and staff will start to form.

If you don’t trust your staff to do a good job for the practice, then how will they trust you to have their best interests in mind?

Do Not Threaten Punishment – Be Inclusive

physical therapy software valueAlthough the staff should know that you will be using the physical therapy software to track productivity, they should not feel that they are being monitored and threatened with punishment.

Let everyone know that you don’t expect them to do their jobs differently right away.

In fact, physical therapy software and practice management should be able to communicate to staff members that the purpose of reporting and productivity management is to improve the productivity of the entire practice.

Everyone who works in a practice will have certain aspects of the job that they like and certain aspects that they dislike.

Perhaps they are frustrated with the way their days are scheduled, or they don’t feel like they get enough time with each patient. In a lot of cases, these kinds of frustrations or problems will cause inefficiencies and decrease productivity.

By implementing a physical therapy software and EMR that helps to identify where problems may be, the staff and practice management can discover together where there are productivity issues. And then everyone can work together to find solutions.

Physical Therapy Software: The Relationship Between an EMR, Payers, and Your Wallet

Physical Therapy Software: The Relationship Between an EMR, Payers, and Your Wallet

Know how the EMR system, payers, and your physical therapy business’ income are intertwined with each other. This will ensure you have a productive practice and meet your income goals.

physical therapy software relationshipsPhysical therapy software is a tool. And like any other tool that we employ, it should make the job you do easier and more efficient.

Of course, there are plenty of tools out there that do not work the way they’re supposed to, or that make the job even harder than it needs to be.

But if you can find the right tool and right physical therapy software for the job of managing your physical therapy practice, the benefits will affect your bottom line just the way you want them to.

Billing Staff Appreciate Physical Therapy Software

The fact is that all accountants and financial analysts use a lot of computer programs already. Accounting without a computer is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Medical billing staff members are often using complex physical therapy software systems already to handle the work they do. But all too often, that system is completely cut off from the rest of the practice.

How does your billing staff know what to bill? Do they review paper documents and input information into the computer? Or is there a medical coder or even a receptionist who has that job? The way most physical therapy practices do this part is very inefficient.

The clinician documents an appointment, makes notes, and submits that information, usually on paper, to a receptionist. The receptionist makes sure to file the patient file, but must also communicate the information with a medical coder or biller.

The coder or biller will receive the information either on paper or via email. The coder or biller then has to input that information into their system or onto paper claims to be submitted to the insurance company.

There Is A Better Way

The simple information that the physical therapist communicates has to be repeated three times. What if the physical therapist could input that information once using a physical therapy software program and everyone else in the office received an alert and had access to that information?

The receptionist knows to schedule another appointment, the coder and biller can simply use that information from within the physical therapy software system they are using, and billing happens more quickly and accurately. And most importantly, time isn’t wasted sending one message through three different forms of communication.

The Product and Your Wallet

In the end, when you use a systematize physical therapy software program, everyone in the office has more time to improve their workflow, attend to patients, or review insurance claims before sending them to the insurance company.

physical therapy software EMRIf things could be done more smoothly because of the new physical therapy software, it’s likely your billing staff will get better responses from payers.

They will have time for follow-ups and reviews of aging reports. For medical billers, time can slip away fast with a never-ending stream of responsibilities.

And it is the biller that is responsible for bringing cash to the practice. No matter how important it is that patients are treated well and physical therapists do a good job, if the insurance company doesn’t pay claims, or takes a long time to pay claims, the practice will suffer financially.

Anything that helps medical billing to go more smoothly by using physical therapy software will ensure that the practice profits the way you want it to.

Physical Therapy Software: EMR Implementation Checklist

Physical Therapy Software: EMR Implementation Checklist

As you plan to change your manual system to an automated one, always keep in mind that you must communicate with your staff prior to the changes.

In order to have a smooth implementation of the EMR system,  Nitin Chhoda shares a few important steps to take note of when including your staff in the process.

physical therapy software EMRImplementation of physical therapy software is a daunting task. Even before you have experience with the process, you’ll know that productivity will drop during the learning period.

You know that your staff will be frustrated at times and things won’t run more smoothly right off the bat. But you can take steps to make implementation easier and smoother.

  • Plan Carefully 

A critical step will be to make a physical therapy software plan. Include the staff in your planning process. Let them know what to expect, both from the training side and from the implementation side.

Set dates for certain milestones and make sure your staff members are aware of the changes. When everyone knows what to expect, they will be much less likely to be surprised and distracted by the changes that happen.

  • Select an Implementation Manager

Someone will have to be in charge of the physical therapy software implementation process. They will be responsible for drafting the plan and getting buy-in from staff. They will schedule training sessions and be the point person when anyone has a question.

They will also be the person responsible for interfacing with the staff at the software company. In many cases, this is the person who vets and chooses the physical therapy software you will adopt.

  • Training, Training, and Training

Do not even think about implementing physical therapy software without first training your staff sufficiently. Any software solution you consider should have an extensive training program that includes organized training sessions before implementation, and resources that staff can use on their own time, before, during, and after implementation.

Give your staff time to make the adjustments they will need to make.

Give them time to go over training materials. A little bit of time spent training now will make physical therapy software implementation go faster, saving you time in the long run.

  • Inventory of Resources

physical therapy software implementationAnother task of the implementation or office manager will be to inventory the current resources.

Will the physical therapy software solution you choose work on the existing computers?

Will you need a faster Internet connection? Are you going to use mobile devices like tablet computers? How many will you need to be optimally efficient and effective?

This is a frequently overlooked step that doesn’t get done until it is suddenly time to implement the physical therapy software. Hopefully you will be working with a company that recognizes how important this step is, but you may want to do this even before you select an EMR.

  • Give Everyone Time and Space

The entire process will need to be heavily incentivized from the start. Your staff needs to know that the learning they are doing and the work they put in will ultimately benefit them and make them better at their jobs. Hopefully, that will be enough to inspire everyone to be enthusiastic.

But no matter how much you plan and train there will always be a few bumps and roadblocks. Schedule plenty of time in your physical therapy software implementation schedule so that you can adjust without causing disappointment, neither for you nor for your staff.

Physical Therapy Documentation: Patient Check-In With “Self-Intake” Technology

Physical Therapy Documentation: Patient Check-In With “Self-Intake” Technology

Discover how patients’ self-intake can be very beneficial to the practice, to the physical therapy documentation staff, and even to the patient itself.

physical therapy documentation patientTechnology is moving so fast that we’re already seeing the future of medical intake procedures.

The self-intake option for physical therapy documentation software takes paper and re-entry out of the equation completely.

With self-intake software, you can add a new patient to your practice’s medical records system the instant they step into the office.

What is Self-Intake?

Self-intake in the physical therapy documentation setting is the process of using a tablet computer to conduct the intake interview. Rather than handing a patient a clipboard, you can hand them an iPad.

For patients who don’t want to tap through, there are even speech-to-text options that allow patients to say their entries right to the device. This can speed up the process for patients and speeds up the review process each time they come in for an appointment.

Self-intake physical therapy documentation technology can also be used anywhere the patient happens to be. If a patient has in-home appointments, the physical therapist can bring along a tablet computer and securely add patient information to their electronic medical record without safety concerns.

Self-intake physical therapy documentation technology should meet meaningful use guidelines for Medicare and should also match the requirements for safety of electronic medical records.

Who Benefits from Implementation of Self-Intake?

Some of the best things about a self-intake physical therapy documentation system are similar to the benefits of any technological advance. The staff benefits because the information only has to be entered into the EMR once, saving time and dropping redundant steps from staff workflows.

Additionally, because the information is so centralized, it is easy for the physical therapy documentation staff to review the information in an electronic medical record and ask relevant questions of the patient. And of course, there is a lot less paperwork, reducing the amount of printing, shuffling, and filing that has to happen each time a new patient is added to the practice.

But the other parties who benefit from self-intake are the patients. They spend less time repeating information and filling out forms. When they come back for their second visit, they can simply review the information they entered last time to see if anything should be added or changed.

physical therapy documentation self-intakeThe medical billing and physical therapy documentation staff also benefits, as the information for a patient’s insurance company is added directly to the system they will use to determine the patient’s portion of the bill.

In fact, some practices go so far as to automate their patient payment information so that the patient can pay up front for their visits.

Perks

A well-designed self-intake physical therapy documentation system will allow for paperless patient check-in as well as have customizable forms for the practice to design. Some systems even offer to include a photo, which can be taken right from the tablet, so that when a clinician reviews the patient file they will see a photo of the patient, too.

This helps physical therapy documentation clinicians to keep track of who is who, and it helps patients to have a more welcoming and comfortable experience every time they visit your practice.

Physical Therapy Documentation: Self-Intake and Mobile Technology

Physical Therapy Documentation: Self-Intake and Mobile Technology

Nitin Chhoda explains how using the latest mobile technology can have a great impact on your patients. Stating that this technology can also create positive feedback for your practice.

physical therapy documentation self intakeThe future is now, and that can’t be emphasized enough in the world of physical therapy documentation and technological upgrades.

We are looking at a whole array of possibilities for the next few years, but one thing that is certain is that medical practices of all kinds will be switching to EMRs over the next decade.

Attracting new patients is going to get harder and harder if your practice doesn’t adjust and adapt to the technological breakthroughs in physical therapy documentation and management.

Within the next five years, we are going to see a dramatic shift in what the typical patient values with regard to the type of physical therapy documentation and practice choice. We are already a society obsessed with convenience and speed, but even the definition of convenience is changing for Americans.

What Do Patients Prefer?

Patients may prefer the option of entering their medical history online at home, even before they come to the office. They may expect to pay their share up front, so the financial side of their health care is not an uncertain, stressful weight on their minds.

Patients are more and more computer literate, preferring the simplicity of selecting a choice from a drop-down menu than writing in each element of their medical history. And more than ever, patients are expecting a certain level of technological advancement from their health care and physical therapy documentation providers.

Marketing and Technology  

To appeal to the high value placed on technology, many physical therapy documentation and practices are implementing fully-integrated and automated physical therapy documentation systems, right from the start.

A modern and high-tech practice will have self-intake on tablet computers as well as the paper option just in case someone is not inclined to try the new system.

physical therapy documentation technologyOne of the most important marketing strategies of this day and age is peer-to-peer marketing.

In other words, the word-of-mouth referrals that used to provide a few extra patients here and there has changed into a critical strategic marketing hub.

The Importance of Physical Therapy Documentation

The reputation of a physical therapy documentation practice has always been important, but today your reputation can change in an instant with Internet peer-review sites and social networking.

The same patients who are reviewing or talking about your practice with hundreds of people at a time are the ones who will be impressed and relieved to find that your practice has the best in technology.

This kind of physical therapy documentation and marketing edge can make or break a practice, especially in a market that is getting more and more competitive.

Getting in on the Ground Floor

No matter how hard it may seem to change the way your practice does business, it will be infinitely harder to compete with practices that successfully make the switch. Electronic medical records are just the beginning.

Not only will your physical therapy documentation practice need the technology, but your practice should also be maximizing efficiency in the same way as the rest of the market. Rather than accepting that you will have the last of the previous generation of patients, start looking forward and hope to attract the next generation.

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