Physical Therapy Marketing to Patients Before, During, and After Visits

Physical Therapy Marketing to Patients Before, During, and After Visits

Marketing your physical therapy business doesn’t rely on producing creative brochures alone. It also depends on how you treat your patients before, during and after each visit. Nitin Chhoda shows how treating your patients can make or break your practice.

physical therapy marketing visitsMost healthcare practice managers think of physical therapy marketing as something they buy. You can hire a physical therapy marketing professional to handle your advertising and published materials.

You can also ask them to research competitors and find ways to incorporate successful competitive messages into your marketing plan.

But physical therapy marketing is also something your practice does whenever anyone has contact with a patient. The overall impression that patients have of the entire practice is what will determine whether or not they’ll come back.

Referrals: Professional and Personal

You probably have a pretty good idea of how important professional referrals are to your practice. If you work with a few other, complementary practices, you probably have a consistent stream of referred patients.

But there are other physical therapy marketing referrals that happen all the time, and you may or may not even realize how much of a difference they are making.

Personal referrals from current patients to potential patients are very powerful physical therapy marketing plan. In fact, it is worthwhile to think about the potential patients when making decisions about how to run the practice.

Patients Feedback Are Important

What do you want your patients to say about the care they receive when they come to your practice? As an example, on a Facebook feed a friend wrote about her dentist. She said they take very good care of her, have a very comfortable waiting area and even some other perks.

She looks forward to going to her dentist. If all 800 friends of hers saw that post, a percentage of them will actually take action and check out that dentist. How many people do you know that say they look forward to going to the dentist’s office?

It’s the same thing when it comes to your physical therapy practice. Having a great physical therapy marketing should always consider the word-of-mouth referrals.

physical therapy marketing patientsYou want this kind of referral to be a physical therapy marketing tool that works for you. It can just as easily work against you, with people complaining about long waiting times, rushed appointments, and disorganized offices. Making a good impression is marketing at its most basic.

Post-Visit Physical Therapy Marketing 

Another critical part of your physical therapy marketing plan will be the follow-up after appointments. Take every opportunity to learn from your patients by asking for feedback in a few different ways.

Have a comments box in the waiting room, communicate via email when scheduling future appointments, and periodically send a card to ask patients how they feel about their experiences in your practice.

Continue to Care for Your Patients Even After the Visit

Your patients should feel that they are cared for, that their clinician is not just doing their job, but is someone they can rely on to communicate with them and educate them about ways they can stay healthy. Rather than treating a visit to your practice as a burden or because there’s something wrong, a visit should be a simple check-up to make sure things are going okay.

The best physical therapy marketing you do will be to frame the work you do in a positive light, communicate messages that inform patients about how your practice wants them to feel good, and ensuring that the experience is always refreshingly honest, open, and relaxed.

EMR Solution: How to Effectively Improve Staff Productivity

EMR Solution: How to Effectively Improve Staff Productivity

When transitioning to an automated physical therapy documentation such as EMR, it is important to talk to your staff.  Nitin Chhoda emphasizes the importance of open communication, and preparing your staff for the big changes that are about to come. 

Communication and pre-planning will help to ensure that the documentation system you chose is the right one for your practice.

EMR solution staffManaging a healthcare practice takes ingenuity, patience, and an ability to see the bigger picture while focusing on the details that need to be improved.

The complexity of the job is what draws a lot of smart, capable people to the profession.

But these days, you have to be competent with many forms of technology as well as with the people who you are responsible for managing. And the reason that electronic medical records solutions were developed was to help management streamline and integrate all systems within a practice.

Managing Expectations

To truly benefit from a medical EMR, your practice will need to prepare in a number of ways. One of the most crucial jobs that need to be done will be to manage the expectations of the staff.

If the staff is excited about a new EMR system and is ready to learn and be challenged, the process will go more smoothly and everyone will be able to use the EMR to improve efficiency.

But if the staff feels anxious, unprepared, and frustrated by the process, productivity will probably go down and the adjustment period will be much longer than necessary. Before you can expect your staff to get better at their jobs because of an EMR, you’ve got to train them and prepare them psychologically for the process.

That includes bringing the staff into the planning process so they feel they have a voice and their goals will be met with the EMR.

Choosing the Right EMR Software

Another crucial decision, which could make or break your experience with an EMR solution, will be what EMR you choose. This choice should not be obvious. Expect it to take some time for you to identify which EMR will help your practice to reach its goals.

Make sure that you have specific, achievable goals for productivity and efficiency before you even begin the search, and then base your decision on how well the EMR can help you to achieve those goals.

Getting staff input during this process will also be very valuable. If staff members are currently frustrated by certain aspects of their job or the way that certain systems are not integrated well enough, they can tell you what their goals will be.

EMR solutionThe goals of individual staff members can be powerful tools, especially if the staff knows that the EMR is meant to help them to reach their individual goals.

Take Your Time

Managing the transition process will probably be stressful enough without a lot of time pressure. So don’t overdo it by setting tight deadlines and strict expectations.

Nobody needs to feel pushed too hard during the implementation process, and that includes practice management. Taking your time will also allow you to identify problems right away, while you still have access to training materials and support from the software developers. If you take your time, you will be able to do things right the first time, saving you time and money in the long run.

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.

Physical Therapy Documentation: How to Improve Productivity with Your EMR

Physical Therapy Documentation: How to Improve Productivity with Your EMR

Traditionally, electronic medical record (EMR) systems have been associated with documentation and record keeping. In the new economy, an EMR has evolved into a tool to help you run every aspect of your practice – scheduling, documentation, coding, billing, payment collection and marketing.

With improved technology, this is the new norm, which is good news for a private practice owner. Nitin Chhoda explains how the right EMR system can make your life easier and help you run a simpler, more profitable practice.

physical therapy documentation productivityCalculating your billable rate for weighted procedures and setting benchmarks for weighted procedures per visit can certainly do a lot to help your bottom line.

Physical therapy documentation benchmarking can improve productivity and identify areas where a practice is in need of streamlining and improvement.

The difficulty in the past has been collecting data and analyzing the numbers. Today, with modern physical therapy documentation tools and improved technology, reviewing productivity measures is fast and simple.

Basic Numbers for Better Practice Management

The basic numbers your practice will need to collect start very simply. How many visits does each patient schedule? How many appointments are scheduled in an eight-hour day? How many weighted procedures are documented for each patient visit?

These numbers can be rolled out quickly and easily, because a simple tally will work. With a physical therapy documentation EMR, you can get these kinds of data with a few clicks of the mouse. Flexible physical therapy documentation tools allow you to choose time frames and display averages, per visit, per day, per week, or per month.

These numbers will tell you where the practice stands right now. The next step will be to decide where you want the practice to go. You may find that there are some places where you can improve efficiency right away.

If you know how many weighted procedures are recorded for each visit, and you want to increase that number, your physical therapy documentation staff can be educated about how to better incorporate weighted procedures into each visit.

Interpretation and Analysis

Once you go a little deeper, you will start to see that a bit of interpretation and analysis is necessary. Fortunately, with an EMR your data is easy to collect and organize.

The weighted physical therapy documentation procedures per visit can be transformed into weighted procedures per provider hour worked. You can then figure out just how much you would like to be billing per hour, and compare that to the actual billing rates.

This is the basis of benchmarking. If you can determine what a reasonable rate of physical therapy documentation billable services is, you will be able to look for ways to increase the billable amount per hour.

physical therapy documentation EMRAdditionally, you can start to look at the compensation cost per visit in a rational and recorded manner. Physical therapy documentation software will allow for simple analysis of straight forward reports.

Compensation cost per visit is one of the biggest and most inflexible expenses associated with running a private practice. This includes your rent and utilities as well as costs of staffing.

Your benchmark can be set based on anticipated improvements in physical therapy documentation productivity as well as averages from elsewhere in the physical therapy field.

Goals Set the Practice on the Right Path

Benchmarking is one way to make your goals more concrete. Rather than saying that you want to improve physical therapy documentation productivity, you can set a benchmark for weighted procedures per visit. This will help the practice to perform at its best, while giving everyone specific tasks to help make that happen.

Physical Therapy Documentation: Revenue Trending Mechanisms and Their Impact on Your Practice Revenue

Physical Therapy Documentation: Revenue Trending Mechanisms and Their Impact on Your Practice Revenue

Medical documentation and billing is an integrated process, in which minor inefficiencies can cause a ripple effect in the way revenue is collected. Billing in particular, may be an area of concern. 

The smallest mistake on an insurance claim can lead to a delay in payment, time wasted by the biller while researching the mistake and re-submitting the claim, and potentially the loss of that revenue altogether. Nitin Chhoda teaches you how to resolve this, and grow your practice in the process.

physical therapy documentation revenueRevenue assurance is a growing financial and telecommunications field that looks at the devil in the details; inefficiencies that may seem small can cause a ripple effect in the way revenue is collected.

For a very large physical therapy documentation of a business, having a revenue assurance team makes some sense.

Determining Inefficiencies

Usually, the staff working on their jobs does not see inefficiencies or productivity leaks. A revenue assurance team or staff member can take the time to find the problems and can take a wide-angle view when looking for solutions.

In physical therapy practices, finding those revenue leaks is a very new task. Typically, it is up to physical therapy documentation and management staff to identify where revenue is lost and to recommend or require adjustments from the staff.

However, without a medical EMR or other physical therapy documentation software, it can be almost impossible to even identify the problem, let alone work toward a solution.

Revenue Assurance Mechanisms for Medical Billing

It is probably obvious that one of the departments where revenue leaks occur most frequently is within the billing department.

Medical billing and physical therapy documentation is especially prone to inefficiencies, because the smallest mistake on an insurance claim will lead to a delay in payment, time wasted by the biller while researching the mistake and re-submitting the claim, and potentially the loss of that revenue altogether.

Physical therapy documentation software is specifically designed to make it easier for medical coding and billing professionals to avoid mistakes. Because the information is entered directly by clinicians, the notes and weighted procedures can be standardized. Every time a clinician adds something to an EMR, they can choose a line of text that they have entered before.

For medical billing staff, this kind of consistency can improve claim acceptance rates significantly. If the coder knows what to expect, they can simply select the same codes repeatedly. Billers can identify what kinds of claims each insurance company accepts and where problems occur. The process can be streamlined and made more successful with physical therapy documentation software.

Focus on Productivity and Job Satisfaction

The job of the physical therapy documentation manager is complex. You must keep your eye on the big picture, looking for ways to improve the practice overall, but you also need to ensure that each staff member is getting some sense of fulfillment or satisfaction from the work they are doing.

Content, satisfied staff members are more productive and successful. The good news is that combining an effort to improve physical therapy documentation staff satisfaction with improved productivity can be incredibly successful.

physical therapy documentation impactImprove Staff Performance

Especially with the addition of physical therapy documentation software, the staff can be given the opportunity to make their jobs better for themselves, while improving their performance for patients and for the practice.

Revenue trending mechanisms that are put into place can feel insidious if implemented improperly. Nobody wants to be told they’re not doing a good enough job and that they are being forced to adjust by using new software.

But if the process is framed in the right way, with the right intentions, everyone can benefit from the new physical therapy documentation system.