Physical Therapy Patient Success: Institute EMR Enabled Care Journey
Start With Processes
What might help to make it “true” for the PT clinic is establishing substantially automated processes that increase the likelihood of success of the patient’s course of treatment. The EMR along with HEP software should come in handy here.
Achieving patient success should require the following:
- Simplified path to care enabled by tools and tech.
- Plans of care to retain and motivate patients.
- Effective HEP programs to get the best experience and outcomes.
- Alignment between patients and therapists on treatment plans and decisions.
The care journey would bring all this together to drive patient success.
Institute Integrated Journey
Patient experience would need to be carefully managed across the entire journey: from referrals to scheduling to intake to the initial eval to home exercise programs to payments and more.
Referral management plays a key role by making sure the practice stays on top of all referrals: adding more referrals through stronger relationships with providers and increasing conversions.
The idea is to schedule patients for appointments across their entire plan of care. This provides patients with the benefit of planning their schedules around any other conflicts they might have and ensure compliance with the treatment plan.
The check-in experience needs to be smooth and efficient with the EMR providing clear pointers to the front desk on patient eligibility and authorizations expiring, payments due, any documents or questionnaires due, and so on.
EMR documentation should make it easy to conduct the initial eval with appropriate templates and develop a plan of care that could be managed through automated outcome tracking tools.
Home Exercise Programs
Keeping patients on track with their HEP schedule can help them reach their therapy goals. HEPs would be created through the EMR, merged with the patient’s medical records, and incorporated into
everyday exercise prescriptions.
Patient payments need to be collected at the time of service. Using an EMR with integrated credit card processing will help where payments are readily accepted at check-in and flow directly into billing and reconciliation.
What can further simplify the plan of care is telehealth for reaching new patients and engaging current patients. Reportedly, patients have enjoyed the convenience of telehealth with clinics seeing a drop in no-shows and a decrease in cost of care.
Communication is clearly key to the success journey. Establishing a patient’s communication preferences right from the start of the journey will help.
A robust communication program should include:
- Intake forms that ask about preferred means of communication and document those preferences directly in the patient’s chart.
- Transfer of patient information automatically to the EMR, saving time and trouble.
- Use of text reminders for appointments to retain patients on their appointment schedule.
- Frequent check-ins to keep patients engaged while providing PTs with an assessment of how patients feel about their treatment.
- Delivery of relevant content to patients throughout their treatment to keep them informed and motivated.
End of the day, patient success also represents the clinic’s success. Instituting a patient journey that increases patient success means the clinic and patients are true partners in care!