As a member of the rehab community, you have a lot on your plate. You've probably either transitioned to physical therapy software or electronic medical records (EMR) or are currently researching one. EMR is an investment, and you might be wondering how to get the most bang for your buck.
Remember, EMR isn't just for documentation. It can help you manage and grow your clinic. How, you ask?
Some EMRs feature a referral report. When entering patients, you can denote whether they were referred by a physician and if so, who. With the referral report, you can then easily view how many referrals you're receiving from entered physicians. It's a convenient way to determine who needs more networking and who needs a big "thank you!"
You can also have your logo integrated into documents you send out of your clinic, like physician notes. Logo notes put your brand right in front of your biggest referral source. Subtle, I know, but effective.
With EMR, you can also attain valuable metrics on your patients; for instance, reporting on “lost” patients allows you to view inactive patients. Some EMRs also offer “productivity” reporting, which enables you to track patient cancellations and no-shows as well as some other nifty metrics (see next section). Both lost patient and productivity reports empower you to follow-up with patients more frequently and in an organized manner.
Here are a few more patient management tools available on some of the most widely used EMR software: Appointment reminders—email, text, and phone—cut down patient no-shows by 30%, and integrated home exercise programs, complete with supporting photos and videos, help you aid your patients in meeting their goals.
Your EMR can also help if you manage other therapists or are simply looking for a better way to track your own performance. Cue the productivity report again! On the therapist side, productivity reporting can show you how many patients each therapist has seen as well as the types of documents created, and missed notes reporting lists any therapist’s incomplete notes.
Both of these reports increase accountability, for yourself and your team.
To keep your clinic profitable, it's crucial to have timely reimbursements. The best way to improve reimbursements, besides having defensible documentation, is to submit clean claims. Some EMR software offer either their own integrated billing service or have certified billing partners. Both routes, though, can eliminate double entry of demographic patient information or billing codes as well as allow for seamless transferring of information.
EMR means no more pen and paper. The same should be the case for your front office. The scheduling tool automatically links your patient records with your clinic's calendar. In addition to appointment reminders, the scheduling tool enables you to:
- track cancellations and no-shows
- easily book or reschedule appointments
- manage therapists' schedules
- view the schedules of your other clinics (if applicable)
Woo-hoo for no double booking or task duplication! (If you're not saying "woo-hoo," trust me, your front office will!)
Free Up Space
File cabinets and in-house data servers can really hamper the feng shui of your clinic. With a cloud-based EMR, you can free up a lot of space. There's no tabbed manila folders, IT staff, or "server rooms" involved. All that means less stress.
And less stress is what your electronic medical record should be about. After all, you’ve got patients to treat. It’s time to take your clinic beyond documentation.
About the Author: Charlotte Bohnett is a copywriter for WebPT, the leading cloud-based EMR software designed specifically for the rehab community.
She graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. While working in copywriting and social media, Charlotte earned her Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication from Lawrence Technological in Southfield, Michigan.
After freezing her tail off in Northwest Ohio for fifteen years, Charlotte returned to her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona to join the WebPT team. Now when she's not writing, she's busy re-acclimating herself to the desert.
For follow-up questions or additional information about WebPT, please contact Charlotte@WebPT.com