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The Top 5 Mistakes Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists Make When Using Their EMR (and How to Avoid Them)

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EMR mistakes

EMRs are now the norm when it comes to practice management. Physical, occupational, and speech therapists have embraced this technology to streamline their practice. However, like any technology, EMRs come with their own set of challenges. In this blog post, we will explore the most common mistakes therapists make when using their EMR and provide helpful solutions to correct and avoid them.


Lack of Proper Training and Familiarity

A common EMR mistake is that many therapists jump into using their EMR without receiving adequate training or taking the time to understand its features and functionalities. This can result in frustration and errors when navigating the system during client encounters.

Solution: Thorough training is essential. Take the time to participate in training sessions offered by the EMR vendor or seek out online resources and video tutorials that provide in-depth guidance on using the software. Additionally, encourage team collaboration and knowledge sharing to improve everyone’s familiarity with the EMR. If you’re switching to a new EMR, take advantage of the implementation phase to set up in-depth training sessions.


Poor Documentation Practices Lead to More EMR Mistakes

One of the primary purposes of an EMR is to ensure accurate and comprehensive documentation of client encounters. However, therapists may overlook important details or fail to record treatment plans effectively, leading to incomplete and inconsistent documentation, as well as other EMR mistakes.

Solution: Develop standardized documentation templates that include all necessary fields and prompts to capture relevant information. Take the time to complete each section thoroughly, ensuring you document the client’s condition, treatment goals, interventions, and progress accurately. Regularly review and self-audit your documentation to identify areas for improvement. If your EMR allows you to create custom forms, leverage them to collect data more efficiently.


Inefficient Workflow Design Hinders EMR Optimization

An EMR system not properly customized to fit a therapist’s workflow can impede efficiency and productivity. Frequent clicking, excessive scrolling, or searching for data can waste valuable time during client encounters.

Solution: EMR optimization is key. Evaluate your workflow and collaborate with your EMR’s support team to customize the system to best suit your needs. Use features such as templates, macros, and shortcuts to streamline documentation. Effective workflow design can significantly enhance productivity and reduce frustration. Your EMR should help you save time, not add to your administrative burden.


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Failure to Use Technology to Its Full Potential

Physical, occupational, and speech therapists often underuse the full range of features and capabilities their EMR offers. This can limit the benefits they can gain from the technology, such as automated reminders, electronic scheduling, or data analysis.

Solution: Stay informed about updates and new features introduced by the EMR vendor. Regularly attend webinars or workshops to learn about advanced functionalities and best practices. Collaborate with your colleagues to ensure you make the most of the available technology. Remember, your EMR isn’t just a replacement for paper; the right software should considerably improve your productivity. Discuss the potential for automating or streamlining manual processes like billing with your vendor. Some of these features may require additional fees, so consider the ROI of reducing manual work like eligibility checks.


Inadequate Data Security Measures

EMRs contain sensitive and confidential client information, making data security a critical concern. Physical, occupational, and speech therapists may inadvertently compromise client privacy by failing to implement appropriate security measures, such as weak passwords or sharing login credentials.

Solution: Ensure your EMR is configured with strong security settings and encryption protocols. Establish individual user accounts with unique passwords for each therapist. Regularly update passwords and never share login credentials. Train your team on the importance of maintaining client privacy and the procedures for handling client data securely. Your EMR should include role-based access, minimizing unauthorized changes and errors.


Your EMR can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your practice when used correctly. By addressing these common mistakes and implementing the suggested solutions, you can optimize your use of EMR technology, improve documentation accuracy, and enhance client care. Investing time and effort in mastering your EMR will undoubtedly lead to better outcomes for you – and the clients you serve.


Fusion is a highly intuitive EMR designed to help occupational, speech, and physical therapists save time and focus on care. From implementation to support, we want to help providers like you leverage Fusion to its full potential so you spend less time typing and more time helping clients. Schedule a demo of Fusion today and experience the difference.




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