Physical Therapy Patient Portal | Getting Close And Personal

Physical Therapy Patient Portal

Looking to step up patient collaboration and engagement and increase adherence with the plan of care? Not to mention streamlining other administrative and care management functions like online payments, form fills, messages and reminders, and so on. If yes, then a patient portal should probably be on your list of priorities.

It would enable access to key patient services such as digital registration, custom forms, and online bill pay. The portal would save admin and clinical team members valuable time during the patient onboarding and billing process.

We could break down the portal into four areas: Patient workflow, front desk procedures, therapist interventions, and online bill payments. Let us take a closer look.

Initiating The Patient Workflow

There would typically be a couple of “entry points” to the patient portal for a new patient or an existing patient. New patient registration could be done right from the appointment scheduler.

  • A “quick add” screen would help capture the minimum amount of information needed to secure the spot on the schedule for the patient, who could fill in the remainder of the information.
  • Patients would be sent an invitation to the portal where they would fill out demographic and insurance information.
  • Clinical questionnaires would also be sent that would directly import into the evaluation along with functional scales and outcome tests. So would custom PDF forms like consent forms.
  • To start off, basic information including contact information, email addresses, and cellphone numbers would be captured in the portal.
  • The system would automatically send the invitation to the patient enabling the appointment to be scheduled and the patient’ position on the calendar to be confirmed.
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Physical Therapy Patient Portal

Advancing The Patient Workflow

Patients would receive an invitation to the patient portal in their email to login to the portal and set up their account. That would launch the workflow, and would include two factor authentication for security purposes.

  • Patients would move into the onboarding process where they would fill out the remainder of the information.
  • Steps along the process would include capture of contact information, insurance information, clinical questionnaires, functional outcome tests, and any other documents that they need to sign or fill out.
  • Any information that was previously collected in the “quick add process” would already be pre-filled for them. Patients would review the information to correct any issues like spelling mistakes.
  • Clinical questionnaires and functional outcome tests would get imported into the therapist’s evaluation documents. This would include the subjective evaluation and tracking of items like medical history.
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Physical Therapy Patient Portal

The next step would be functional outcome tests that have been mapped to the patient’s body part. The patient could be coming in for a shoulder injury, knee injury, or back injury, for example.

  • During patient portal setup, it would be possible to map functional tests in the system to the specific body part.
  • The portal would automatically present patients with the appropriate tests for the body part. This data would flow into the therapist’s evaluative documents so that they could see the responses and score and review them with the patient if necessary.
  • Once patients have completed all assigned tests, they would be presented with any PDF forms and consent forms that they could upload into the portal.
  • Patients would fill out the documents and sign any forms as necessary. During patient portal setup, the forms would be digitized and fields mapped to fill in information that is already available from the portal intake process.
  • Patients could add their signature digitally to any of these forms. Patients would then move on to complete their registration process and access their dashboard.
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Physical Therapy Patient Portal

Front Desk Procedures In The Portal

Back in the EMR, once patients have completed their registration, front desk users would access a list of registered patients, manage the sending of registrations, and check where the patients are in the online registration process.

  • Front desk users would verify information submitted before pushing it to the patient record. This would include demographic information and insurance coverage information. In the patient record, it would be possible to see the status of the patient’s portal access.
  • Additional options could include selecting text or email notifications for transmitting patient statements online for bill pay, resending portal invitations, disabling or blocking a patient from the portal if needed, and so on.
  • If patients should return for a future case, it would be possible to send them new questionnaires and new clinical forms if needed. Insurance information would get automatically pushed into the insurance coverage.
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Physical Therapy Patient Portal

Therapist Interventions In The Portal

Therapists would be able to review the information provided by patients via the portal.

  • Therapists would access documentation through the dashboard or from the scheduler and initiate the evaluation.
  • Once the notes page has been loaded, assuming the patient has completed clinical questionnaires and/or outcome tests in their portal, therapists would be able to import them from the patient portal into the current note.
  • The patient’s responses and scores to tests assigned online would show up here. The therapist could review and revise responses as necessary including responses to individual questions on the test.
  • Therapists would then go into the clinical library, get the evaluation template, and load that into the system. Thus, both the patient’s responses and the therapist’s evaluation would get combined here.
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Physical Therapy Patient Portal

Online Bill Payments With The Portal

Online bill pay would be another important step. After generating patient statements in the EMR, these would be sent to the patient via the portal. This will make the statements available online.

  • Patients would receive email or text notifications depending on their preference that they have an invoice to pay online. The patient could choose to handle payments for multiple family members simultaneously.
  • On the portal dashboard, the patient would be able to view upcoming/past appointments and the financial summary.
  • On the Bill Pay page, they would see past payments and statements sent to them that they could save locally for their own records.
  • Patients would proceed to make the payment. Both options of paying a full balance or partial balance would be available.
  • Payments made inside the system would be sent to the merchant account and automatically posted in the portal and EMR at the same time.
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Physical Therapy Patient Portal

All in all, the portal would enable patients to be more engaged in their plan of care with resulting benefits for both sides of rehab therapy: therapist and patient. Connect with patients virtually and empower them to get close and personal with their clinical and financial data. Better outcomes for all.