Enterprise Physical Therapy EMR Software: Managing all the Moving Parts

The word enterprise brings up the image of something that is large and complex. Enterprise PT EMR software is no exception. This would be a single, integrated EMR solution with a wide set of functionality and capability that automates the PT enterprise’s entire operations from end to end, cutting across multiple locations and multiple specialties. Not just clinical processes (intake to scheduling to documentation) but the system would also encompass billing and collections, referral management, and more.

However, just having all the different tools and modules in place may not be sufficient. These tools and software would also need to seamlessly interact with each other and with other tools in the clinic environment to institute a smooth flow of operations.

Enterprise PT EMR is characterized by some defining traits that would include processes, data, functionality and more.

Automating unique, complex processes

Enterprise level clinics are more likely to have unique, complex processes and workflows. An example could be plan of care management to get the final, signed POC back from the referring physician. This would push out the POC to physicians and attach the signed POC to the patient record, along with alerts and age tracking. Such a process may call for additional integrations of the EMR with other clinical and administrative applications in the clinic environment to maintain speed and efficiency of processes and operations.

Standardizing treatment with templating

Documentation is a vital area where flexibility becomes vital in the enterprise PT context. Be it treatment templates, documentation templates, or text templates, customizability and standards at the clinic level help ensure that a patient’s treatment and notes are correctly synchronized with organizational processes across several locations.

Running multiple specialties under one roof

Enterprise clinics are likely to host multiple specialties including PT, OT, Pediatric, and Speech in the same facility. Each of these specialties would require their own therapy-specific clinical content and configurable plans of care. Multi-specialty clinics would require multi-specialty EMRs that support the processes and documentation requirements of each specialty.

Managing billing processes for cash flow

At the enterprise level, billing clearly needs special attention. Claim scrubbing helps lower denials and rejections with patient eligibility verification, authorizations tracking, and warnings for coding errors. Plan of care specific edits and unique identifiers help to standardize claims while ensuring 100% compliance. Enterprise locations would need to be linked with third party systems and clearinghouses for automatically transmitting claims, routing ERAs, and posting payments.

Administering the EMR software

An array of administrator level controls would be a key add on to an enterprise class EMR and would help optimize workflows, users, and documentation. This would enable providers to manage their operations themselves without having to rely on the vendor for oversight privileges. When running a business with several locations that could spread across multiple states, rules could change from location to location. With administrator level controls, it would be possible to set granular permissions for users along with customized rules for payers.

Protecting patient health information

EMRs after all do hold sensitive patient information including patient demographic data and other protected health information. State and federal laws and regulations address privacy and information security related to a patient’s personal health information. IT systems including EMRs could be breached in a cyber-attack. Instituting policies and procedures to ensure compliance with HIPAA and other privacy and information security laws would be a critical step. Additionally, the EMR would need to be maintained with safeguards protecting against cyber-attacks.

Staying compliant with payer and government rules

Claims and billing and coding practices are subject to compliance with complex reimbursement requirements regarding billing and coding to get compensated for services by commercial and government payors. EMRs would need to be fully aligned with compliance requirements to avoid denials and stay clear of potential audits.

Getting data and insight

Reporting and dashboards play a key role as enterprises seek data and insight to better manage operations and raise patient satisfaction. Besides improving processes and documentation, EMRs also need to deliver analytics for cost-effective and quality patient care. Plus, in an enterprise, there are likely to be other sources of data to contend with. There would be the need for the EMR to integrate with disparate data across multiple systems including systems outside the realm of rehab therapy such as HR, Marketing, and Finance for creating reports and dashboards.

To sum up, enterprise PT EMR software is a major part of the PT enterprise’s process and technology landscape. Ensuring that the EMR seamlessly blends in and integrates would create additional value all around: both for providers and patients.