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.

Physical Therapy EMR Tips to Smoothen Implementation

Physical Therapy EMR Tips to Smoothen Implementation

Nitin Chhoda provides a guideline that can be used when making the decision about physical therapy EMR.   These tips are important, and if executed correctly, will positively affect the efficiency and productivity of your staff.

physical therapy EMRPhysical therapy EMR systems transition are often interpreted as an uphill battle by clinicians and managers.

Gaining traction with all staff members and ensuring that the product is actually more efficient will be a big challenge at first.

Here are a few tips to help implementation of physical therapy electronic medical records go more smoothly.

Assign a Project Manager or Team Leader

Usually this job is given to the office manager or other administrative executive. No matter who does the job, it is critical that someone is responsible for pulling everything together. They will be responsible for figuring out which physical therapy EMR software is best for your practice and they will need to get buy-in from the entire staff.

They will set up a schedule for implementation and manage expectations so that nobody feels surprised or overwhelmed by the changes. They will also need to assess and inventory your current resources and decide what needs to be purchased.

Include Everyone

Having a point person is very important to implementing your physical therapy EMR. And one of the most important jobs that this staff member will do is manage the expectations of the rest of the staff. One of the hardest parts of transitioning to physical therapy EMR and software is that staff members are set in their ways and do not want to change.

Staff member buy-in should be prioritized by adding meetings or interviews to the schedule and plan. Each staff member’s job should be reviewed, to some degree, and the changes they will need to make should be determined and discussed beforehand.

Asking staff what would make their jobs easier and attempting to find the right physical therapy EMR that incorporates the needed improvements can make the process simpler and smoother.

Invest in Training Programs

Another thing that staff will find difficult is learning on the fly. If you are changing the way things work, you’d better train the staff beforehand. Physical therapy EMR should improve efficiency. While there will always be a bit of a lag at first, the more training given before implementation, the smoother the implementation will go.

Physical Therapy Specific Software

physical therapy EMR tipsThere are a lot of physical therapy EMR systems out there. Many are general and can be adapted to any kind of practice, from a general practitioner to a chiropractor or even a dentist.

But rather than worry about making a system fit your practice, find a system that is made for physical therapy documentation.

Physical therapy EMR and software will make billing, scheduling, and patient management more efficient. If you are just starting out and are looking for an EMR that will be easier to implement, find specific physical therapy EMR software.

Be Flexible

Make a schedule, ensure that the staff are ready, and transition your practice to physical therapy EMR software. But remember that there are always going to be challenges and the adjustment period will never be perfect. Build some flexibility into your schedule and ensure that staff have opportunities to refresh any learning even once the EMR has been implemented.

Medical Records and More

Medical Records and More

Medical records provide health information about a patient. Nitin Chhoda discusses the value of having a complete and accurate information of a patient’s health records so that practitioners can decide the best treatment for a patient’s health.

medical recordsMedical records of every individual contain personal, private information such as their blood type, previous diseases or conditions treated, and any medications being taken currently or in the past.

A medical record, which can also be entered in a physical therapy documentation process, will also include information about allergies as well as details about each visit to the healthcare provider’s clinic.

Like all legal documents, medical records are kept according to laws that usually relate to certification or licensing of a medical professional or medical clinic.

Maintenance of medical records is required by state or federal laws, depending on the specific requirements, and for good reason. Incorrectly maintained medical records could cause serious harm to the patient.

A doctor who neglects to record allergies to medications could be held responsible if a patient is administered that medication in the future because the information is not included in the patient’s medical record.

Medical and Health Records

Medical records can be the folder where all medical information for a single patient is stored as well as the cumulative history that a medical record provides.

A health record is the critical information about a patient contained in a medical record that is sent from one medical provider’s clinic to another.

Medical records can include charts, x-rays, prescription orders for physical therapies or medications, observations, test results, and the date of each previous visit to the medical clinic.

Any important type of note about the patient will also be included, such as pre and post operative notes and operative notes, admission notes, SOAP or progress notes, discharge notes, delivery and postpartum notes, and on-service notes.

medical records regulationsMany of these notes are also regulated, so that certain procedures are always followed. The information contained in medical notes can inform the way a future clinician treats the patient.

Medical Records and More

A medical record can also be useful for future clinicians who may not have the opportunity or the context to know to ask certain questions about the patient’s medical history.

Until fairly recently, medical records laws were kept and maintained by health professionals only, and patients had little to no access to their own medical record.

However, today patient’s have more rights and can not only view their own medical record but have the opportunity to comment on some entries that they feel are inaccurate.

The other way that has helped medical care to improve is the use of medical records as educational materials. Medical school students and resident physicians can get the next best thing to first hand experience if they can compare a real medical record, which would be anonymous, to a current problem they are trying to diagnose or treat.

A Form of Communication

Besides being a compilation of all medical information relating to a patient, a medical record is also a form of communication and a way to share knowledge.

Because medical records can be so important and so helpful, there are legal precedents for maintaining medical records correctly. Medical services providers are also required to keep medical records for seven years after the last recorded addition to the record.

 

HITECH Act : Economic Stimulus for EMR Adoption

HITECH Act : Economic Stimulus for EMR Adoption

Nitin Chhoda reveals a few ways that the HITECH Act can help a private practice switch to an electronic medical records system using a limited budget.  He also shares the requirements needed so that the practice can qualify with the HITECH Act incentives.

HITECT Act While the HITECH Act may help improve the safety and security of electronic medical records keeping systems, the aspects that clinicians and healthcare providers are excited about is the incentives.

The HITECH Act provides financial encouragement to clinicians, hospitals, and medical practitioners for the “meaningful use” of electronic medical records. A total of $19 billion has been allocated for incentives.

Financial Benefits

There are some great financial benefits to switching to electronic medical records anyway, but the HITECH Act makes things even easier. Physicians could qualify for as much as $44,000 for electronic health record implementation and use over the five years that the Act is funded.

The incentives only apply to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, but they can only get incentives through one program at a time. This means that they can also accrue incentives through one program and then when that runs out, they can accrue the same amount through the other program.

The incentives were also meant to encourage providers to adopt EMR systems for HITECH Act as soon as possible. One deadline was for 2012, and next year the incentives will be lower than they are this year.

And after 2015, medical practices will start to incur penalties if they have not switched to an EMR, starting with a 1% Medicare fee reduction. After 2017, that fee reduction is increased to 3%, an after 2019 the fee reduction will be increased to 5%.

Regional Extension Centers

In addition to financial incentives for adoption of EMR, the HITECH Act also funded 70 regional extension centers that can provide administrative help and guidance for health care providers attempting to make the switch to EMR.

Specifically, these regional extension centers will help “providers select the highest-value option, defined as that which offers the most favorable cost of ownership and operation, including both the initial acquisition of technology, cost and implementation, and ongoing maintenance and predictable needed upgrades over time.”

However, there is no requirement that health care providers use the regional extension centers unless they need help implementing an EMR.

HITECH Act stimulusQualifying for HITECT Act Incentives

The most important requirements for qualifying for HITECH Act incentives for EMR adoption are the proper selection of an EMR system and understanding “meaningful use”.

There are a total of 25 meaningful use criteria, and health care providers must demonstrate 20 out of those 25. Fifteen criteria are pre-determined by the HITECH Act, and out of the final ten, you must choose five. The criteria are measured in three stages over five years.

The first stage of HITECH Act requires that you use a certified EMR system and document set percentages of criteria electronically.

You will also be required to use the reminders and warnings systems that certified EMR systems have, share patient information, and report public health information and quality measures.

The second state of HITECH Act requires that you also send and receive lab results and other information using the EMR.

The third stage of HITECH Act requires that you also enroll patients using public health records, access patient data, improve population health, and report on national high priority conditions. Other criteria may be added in the future.

Medical Management Streamlined with EMR

Medical Management Streamlined with EMR

Streamlining medical management is now possible with the use of EMR. Nitin Chhoda enumerates the benefits of EMR including the efficiency of billing, scheduling and managing productivity reports.

medical management EMRClinicians, practitioners, and other private practice owners that use medical management are being forced to take certain steps toward efficiency.

The financial pressures of an increasingly hostile and uncooperative health insurance industry, combined with the fact that more and more patients are unable to pay their bills, has put clinicians in an uncomfortable bind.

How can you provide the best medical care possible if you are restricted by financial considerations? The transition may be a bit rough, but it looks as though private practices are going to get some major help by adopting electronic medical records.

Electronic medical records cut down on administrative costs, making it just a bit less expensive to run the clinic. But more importantly, they can streamline medical management and help the practice to run more efficiently.

Billing and Scheduling: Efficiency Traps

It turns out that much of an clinic’s efficiency is decreased because of errors and delays in billing and scheduling. The ways that EMRs can streamline the billing aspects of medical management may be obvious to some.

A billing system that tracks unpaid bills and sets reminders for the medical management personnel responsible for billing will increase the likelihood that bills will not be forgotten.

This is true for patients as well as health insurance companies. Most medical management and health insurance companies have very particular requirements for the filing of claims. These forms can be time intensive and frustrating to complete. EMRs that are designed to streamline medical management will include options for filing the appropriate paperwork and will include reminders so the paperwork is filed in the required timeframe.

Increased efficiency in scheduling is less obvious at first, but the benefits are certainly easy to understand. When a patient cancels an appointment, that time slot is easily lost and left empty. Scheduling components of EMR programs will ensure that all empty slots are filled when possible. They also allow for re-scheduling with a few clicks of the mouse.

medical management streamlineReporting and Medical Management

On the other hand, medical management professionals will tell you that one of the biggest challenges to improving efficiency is the lack of useful data.

On paper, it is overwhelming to attempt to compile reports that detail how many appointments have been missed, how many bills are left unpaid or the collection percentage, and productivity as measured by the number of patients scheduled for each medical professional.

EMRs offer reporting tools and instruments for medical management systems that make evaluation of the practice quick and efficient. Imagine if you could print a referrals report with a few clicks or figure out how many visits each patient typically schedules.

More Productive and Efficient

Medical management can be more productive and more efficient if these kinds of figures can be analyzed. Without EMR and reporting capabilities, this kind of analysis is overwhelmingly challenging and presents time barriers that are insurmountable.

Rather than relying on the business to continue as usual, medical management professionals and EMR systems learn what is working at your practice and what is not working. Once you know how things are actually going, you can take action to change it for the better.

Health Care Management Overview

Health Care Management Overview

EMR reports can help assist management on deciding whether or not to add more staff. Nitin Chhoda shows managers how EMR can help uncover issues by providing reports based on the needs of the physical therapy practice.

health care management overviewWe don’t tend to think of health care practice management as all that different from any other kind of management.

But it turns out that health care management has to adapt and change policies more quickly than almost any other field.

The business side of running a practice involves a complex billing structure, high regulation, and constant updates.

Health Care Management at its Most Basic 

The most basic definition of health care management can be summed up as the role an office manager plays in a health care practice. An office manager must be aware of the tasks of every staff member; they should be able to re-assign tasks or jobs as necessary.

Often it is the health care management that keeps a practice running smoothly. A health care manager may simply be the person in the office who does not see patients or handle a easy-to-define work load, simply so that when problems arise, there is someone to take care of things.

Today, the health care management role has changed to include monitoring efficiency and making administrative changes. With the introduction of electronic medical records, electronic health records, and technology that can track financial indicators, improving efficiency is not only possible, it has been made much more simple.

Health care management is often in charge of deciding what kind of technology to invest in. Increasingly, this means conducting analysis on current systems and workflows.

The Future of Health Care Management

Health care management is not only changing in the way tasks are delegated, but it is also experiencing the same growth as every other aspect of health care. The health care industry is rapidly approaching a level of demand that has never been seen before, thanks to the baby boomers.

This means demand for skilled employees is going up, too. This is true of certified positions such as x-ray technicians and ultrasound tech, but it is also true for management positions.

As the industry becomes more and more streamlined and efficient due to technology, each added employee turns into a significant benefit to the practice. If demand for services is overwhelming, then the only way to increase capacity is to hire more staff. Health care managers have to analyze the benefit of added staff and then manage the integration of new team members.

health care management outline

Technology is Changing Everything

For health care management programs, technology improvements are both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, office managers have to be adaptive, tech savvy, and they have to know how to implement software improvements. On the other hand, the job is changing so fast that it can be hard to know what it means to be hired as the office manager.

With EMRs tracking the number of cancelled appointments that never get rescheduled as well as statistics on referrals and number of visits per patient, health care management is turning into a more technical job. Drawing up reports on efficiency can show health care management how much work needs to be done to reach the goals of the practice.