Physical Therapy Software 2020

Physical Therapy Software 2020

Nitin Chhoda sees a great future when it comes to using the physical therapy software. He shares the benefits and impact it will have on the physical therapy business.

physical therapy software outcomeAs with any technological advances, there are early adopters and late-comers. Most of us fall in the middle.

We don’t want to try something that hasn’t been tested by a significant number of our peers, but we also know that at some point the technological benefit of making changes will be worthwhile.

For early adopters of physical therapy software, the learning curves were steep and the bugs were significant. Fortunately for the rest of us, physical therapy software now exists that can make your practice more professional, efficient, and effective.

Change is Good

Not everyone enjoys changing the way they do things. In fact, we’re so stuck in our ways sometimes that we don’t even realize that there are other options. As they say, humans are creatures of habit.

But we also react and respond well to changes that teach us new things, once we adjust our attitudes. We are so incredibly adaptable that even when we’re put into difficult and unimaginable situations, we figure out a way to get into new habits.

And the best news is that the staff that take on physical therapy software end up adjusting and eventually appreciating the increased efficiency and ease-of-use that they experience. Clinicians find that automated notes are easy to use and easy to review.

Billers find that once they get the hang of new physical therapy software, they are better able to bill and they even get a better rate of accepted insurance claims.

Overall, the entire practice will become more streamlined. Rather than shifting paper files back and forth, everyone has access to everything when they need it, no matter where they are.

With advances in tablet computer technology, physical therapy software can be taken for house calls and medical records can be updated from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

Physical Therapy Software is Being Developed for a Reason

Physical therapy software isn’t just some crazy fad that was thought up by someone who is trying to make money. These days, physical therapists, medical billers, and physical therapy management are engaging with software developers to create useful programs.

Anything that makes doing your job more cumbersome may have a solution in technology, and there are a lot of people who want to find those technological solutions.

physical therapy software potentialFrom the staff perspective, there are many ways that a practice can become more efficient, from better and faster forms of communication to fewer trips back and forth between medical files and the front desk.

The Future of Physical Therapy Software

Over the next decade or so, everyone is going to make the switch to physical therapy software. The only question for physical therapy practices is when to make that switch.

And from the physical therapy management perspective, physical therapy software offers a whole new world of reporting and analysis that will allow for increased efficiency. How often does a referral turn into a new, paying patient? How many appointments does the typical patient schedule? How often do patients cancel and how often are those cancelled appointments left empty?

Physical Therapy Software Future

Physical Therapy Software Future

Having a physical therapy software seems hard at first, but the practice and  the staff will benefit from it in the long run. Nitin Chhoda discusses how EMR should be introduced to the practice in order to meet goals, and give your staff the right perspective.

physical therapy software futureSuccessful adoption of any new technology is going to take a bit of time. Most practices that adopt physical therapy software end up spending some inefficient weeks getting into gear with their new workflow.

But once everyone is on board, the latest physical therapy software systems provide convenience and efficiency where there were once hold-ups and time wasted.

Practices can see more patients, have better interactions with patients, and are more likely to collect payment from insurance companies.

Re-Imagining the System

The hardest part is going to be changing the way that the physical therapy software and management and staff think about the job they do. As the next generation of physical therapists and medical assistants is educated, they will be taught how to use physical therapy software as part of essential training.

Just as only a generation ago, nobody used email to communicate, the rapid changes in technology can seem to happen overnight for those who don’t realize what was done before.

To re-imagine a more streamlined and efficient physical therapy practice, some of us have to work hard to forget the ways we’ve always done thing. For every physical therapy practice that adopts physical therapy software, training will be essential.

Managing the staff’s expectations about what it will be like with the new system will be a big job for the practice management. Some staff members may be downright stubborn about changing the way they’ve done things. If they’ve always done their job a certain way, and it works, why would they change now?

Start With Staff Training

Implementation has to start with staff education and buy-in. There should be inspirational slideshows and meetings about the way the practice could run if everyone gets on board and uses physical therapy software.

Staff should know that they will be supported with training, time to adjust, and relatively low expectations at first.

Management and the implementation team must get the idea in everyone’s head that the change will not be easy, but it will be worth the work. If physical therapy software staff members expect it to be a simple switch, they will be frustrated even more by the challenges.

physical therapy software outlookIf they don’t feel it is worthwhile, they will dally with training and the transition will be slower and more difficult than necessary.

But if the right image is portrayed from the start, everyone will know what to expect and they will understand why they are doing what they’re doing.

Physical Therapy Software of the 21st Century

The next decade is going to see an increase in demand for medical services, including physical therapy. The only way to take advantage of increased patient demand is to increase your capacity as an office.

The investment into physical therapy software may feel like a burden at first, both financially and in time, but if your practice is going to survive and thrive in the new economy, streamlining the way you provide services will be essential.

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 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.