At some stage, most physical therapy (PT) practice owners want to grow and expand their businesses.
It’s a logical progression. After starting your own practice and building a good reputation, you have more clients than you can service alone—so you take on additional staff to expand your clinic.
What often happens next, however, is that business owners often struggle to achieve the results they expect due to problems attracting, retaining, and engaging skilled therapists.
Unfortunately, with current healthcare staffing shortages only expected to get worse, this challenge will persist for the foreseeable future.
So, to attract the best talent and remain competitive, practice owners must make themselves stand out as an employer of choice for PTs. And one of the best ways to do this is by using physical therapy software that improves the daily work experience and productivity of your therapy team.
Let’s take a look at how a simple but full-featured EMR solution like Fusion can help your physical therapy practice grow by making everything your staff does in a workday easier.
While physical therapy remains a discipline focused on 1:1 interaction between therapist and client, like all areas of healthcare, digital tools are playing an increasing role in practice.
Patient notes, telehealth, goal tracking, home exercise programs, and many other tasks are now all largely completed electronically. So it stands to reason that the tools your staff have access to can greatly impact their productivity, engagement, and satisfaction at work.
Good physical therapy software streamlines both clinical and administrative workflows for therapists, so they can focus on doing what they do best—delivering care to patients.
As we’ll demonstrate in the following section, this has three main benefits:
- Clients receive more timely, higher quality, goal-oriented care
- Physical therapists experience less frustration with cumbersome IT processes and workflows
- Practice owners achieve an increase in revenue, with clinical staff spending less time on non-billable administrative duties.
How Physical Therapy Software Improves Outcomes
Whether you’re running a solo practice, small group clinic, or enterprise-level network, physical therapy software can help improve outcomes in various ways.
The examples below explain how when PTs are supported with intuitive practice management software, everyone wins.
The number one complaint of all allied health clinicians is excessive administrative requirements.
While PTs recognize that paperwork is non-negotiable, they don’t want to spend any more time on it than necessary. And they’ll quickly become disgruntled if they have to jump through hoops all day just to document the basics of patient care.
A quality EHR like Fusion reduces the administrative burden for PTs with features like:
- A HIPAA-compliant, fully electronic notes system that allows therapists to write notes from wherever they are on any device
- Customizable, pre-made notes templates that can be adjusted in specific formats, such as for SOAP notes
- Secure messaging through a patient portal for efficient between-session communication with clients
Booking appointments, rooms, and groups can be stressful for PTs and take away from the time they have to spend with patients.
When making treatment plans and scheduling appointments, good physical therapy software should allow therapists to organize to see their patients with minimum fuss and without having to ask a secretary or administrative assistant for help.
Some of the ways Fusion handles this include the following:
- Fully-integrated appointment scheduling for individuals and groups. All the PT needs to do is allocate the client to an available slot on the all-in-one EMR.
- Self-service booking and re-scheduling through the patient portal, so clients don’t need to call the therapist to arrange or change an appointment
- Automated appointment reminders. Reduces no-shows so PTs can maximize their billable hours and keep clients on track with treatment plans
Goal setting and monitoring are essential parts of high-quality, person-centered physical therapy treatment.
In fact, evidence suggests that goal setting in PT rehabilitation can increase patient motivation to engage in therapy, improve coordinated care between treating health professionals, allow treatment progress to be accurately reviewed, and even reduce anxiety about the recovery process.
The problem is goal setting and tracking can be very time-consuming.
Fortunately, physical therapy software can help streamline the process by:
- Giving clinicians pre-made, standardized goal-setting templates to easily translate in-session information into client goals
- Customizable and automated progress and outcome tracking tools to give feedback to clients and provide evidence to payers
- Integrated goal setting, progress tracking, and evidencing within an all-inclusive platform, so therapists don’t need to transcribe goals and outcomes between programs
Intake and assessments are often very resource-intensive processes in PT practice. And often, reimbursement for these activities doesn’t cover the full clinical time that’s involved.
In Fusion, we utilize intelligent physical therapy software to make intake and assessment as fast and efficient as possible without compromising clinical accuracy.
We achieve this with:
- A customizable intake form that clients can complete independently before their first session in our secure online patient portal
- A complete set of easy-to-use digital assessment tools and forms that can be completed in session, even on a mobile device during home visits or groups
- Automated tracking for authorizations and doctor referrals that are about to expire, so keeping track of these doesn’t eat into clinical PT time
To address this problem, you don’t have to go so far as to train your staff to become experts at private practice insurance claims. But you do need to provide a simple, intuitive system for them to align treatment activity and documentation with insurance requirements. You also need to make clinician KPIs easy to view and understand.
Good physical therapy software will include easy-to-use tools to take the stress out of billing and RCM, such as:
- Clinical forms and notes templates that align with insurance claiming codes and MIPS reporting requirements
- Reporting tools and dashboards that can be used by clinicians and managers to easily view progress toward important KPIs
- An intuitive communication system for PTs, supervisors, and practice managers to discuss and address issues around billing and activity targets in real-time
At the end of the day, what PTs want most is to turn up to work each day and give their all to providing care to patients without being held back by frustrating and inefficient administrative systems.
When practice owners and managers treat clinical staff like the valuable resource they are—by providing them with the tools to do their job as efficiently as possible—everyone wins.
PTs deliver high-quality care to clients with minimal stress and frustration. Patients achieve better outcomes by receiving person-centered, goal-directed care. And practice owners achieve healthy revenue because they retain engaged and productive clinical staff.
The most useful tool you can provide PTs to help them with their daily work is an easy-to-use, all-in-one EMR like Fusion.
Fusion is a simple but full-featured physical therapy software solution that makes everything easier. It streamlines daily admin, scheduling, note-taking, and reporting, allowing your clinical team to deliver more care and achieve better outcomes. To see how Fusion can help you retain and engage the best PTs, book a free demo today.