WebPT Blog - physical therapists
Oct 23, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
Today's blog post comes from WebPT Copywriters Char Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
You’ve done your research; scoured the tradeshows; evaluated your options, and frankly, the writing’s on the wall: Digitally documenting with a rehab therapy-specific EMR just makes more sense than charting on paper—for your practice, for your patients, and for your sanity. But before you go ditching the pen and paper, you need buy-in, maybe from the clinic decision maker or maybe from your staff. Here’s how to go about pitching an EMR so everyone’s on board.
Tailor the Benefits
Sure, the EMR you have in mind (WebPT, of course) has tons of great benefits, everything from intuitive initial evaluations and professional finalized notes replete with your clinic’s logo to a color-coded front office scheduler and helpful alerts and reports. But no one wants to sit through a lengthy barrage of features (read: boring). Understand your clinic’s pain points first, and then tailor your conversation to how an EMR will help you solve these specific issues.
Have a front office staff who spends most of their time contacting patients to remind them they have upcoming appointments? Bring up the automatic appointment reminder feature, which can significantly reduce no-shows and cancellations, so your staff can focus on more pertinent items.
Have a clinic director who’s concerned about how much revenue he or she is losing each month because of missed referral opportunities? Remind him or her about the referral tracking report, which provides direct line of sight into which physicians are frequently referring your clinic’s services and which ones may need a reminder about your team’s fantasticness.
In short, create an emotional connection first by showing how your proposed EMR will address a real need and you’ll have one more advocate on your side.best practices, clinic, director, documentation, emr, physical therapists, physical therapy, physical therapy software, rehab community, staff
Sep 25, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
Today's blog post comes from WebPT copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
Referrals = new business. And who doesn’t want a little more of that? But the key to boosting referrals isn’t throwing advertising dollars around. It’s about building lasting relationships, both with your patients and community physicians. And how do you do that? Position yourself as an expert, an educator, and most importantly, a person. In short, demonstrate your (and your profession’s) worth.
Think about the great chefs on television: Emeril, Julia Child, and Mario Batali. They all do more than just cook. They have drive. They have stories to share. They have purpose. The same applies to you. As a physical therapist, you’re more than what is on your resume. Prove it.
Talk about what you do; show your passion; educate and inspire through your experiences, and you’ll prove to your patients, referring physicians, and community that you’re more than an expert; you’re a pillar—the true value. Embrace this, and you’ll employ the most engaging, intimate, and effective form of marketing available.branding, marketing, physical therapists, physical therapy, PT best practices, referrals, relationship marketing, value
Sep 6, 2012| by Heidi Jannenga PT
Today's blog post comes from WebPT co-founder Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L.
As summer comes to a close (at least for most of the country; it’s still over 100 degrees in Phoenix), many of you may experience a change in your clinic as students go back to school. The return to school is always an exciting time for most, with activities like shopping for back-to-school clothes, anticipating a new curriculum, and gearing up for a new sports season. This is also the time of year when many clinic owners complete their budget for next year. With reimbursements continuing to decrease, continuing education allotments are often the first cuts. Here, I would like to make the case for the importance of continued education.
Jul 2, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
Think about how many find their, say, dentist, dermatologist, or even physiotherapist—probably word of mouth via a friend or family. Of course, nowadays word of mouth is less from the mouth and more from a tweet or Facebook status update.
In a post on Merge, Adam Landrum discusses a PwC study entitled “Social Media ‘Likes’ Healthcare,” which shows that social media influences patients’ decisions about selecting health providers. Patients are increasingly using information from social media to assist them in making healthcare choices; for instance, 41% of those surveyed said social media sites would influence their choice of a specific physician, hospital, or medical facility.
We know patients rely on social media to make decisions about what they buy, who they see, and what medicines and supplements they take. But what about health advice? Can users actually glean meaningful health information from social media beyond basic consumer recommendations? Let’s discuss how social media is a valuable health resource for patients.Facebook, health, online community, patients, physical therapists, physical therapy, social media, social media resources for physical therapists, solvept, twitter
Jun 29, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
On our blog in June, we covered innovative equipment for your practice as well as some exciting WebPT announcements. Click on any of the links below to access this month’s posts. Hope you all had a fantastic June, and here’s to a great July.
- Big Time Benefits for Members Only
- Surface Electromyography Gives PT Clinics a Competitive Advantage in Treatment
- Front Office Game Changers for Your Clinic
- Increase Patient Performance With Dartfish
- WebPT at PT 2012
- Innovative Exercise Equipment for Today’s Therapy Clinic
- Discover Ideas in Action, June 2012: Introducing the WebPT Member Network
- #Solve PT: Do You Stand for Something?
- Wanted: Evidence-Based Practice
- Top Five iPad Apps for Pediatric Speech Language Pathologists
- The Road to a New Payment System for Physical Therapy
- Motion Therapeutics Empowers Patients and Therapists
- Do You Wii-Hab? Using Motion Gaming in Your Therapy Clinic
- PTs Implement FOTO for Better Evidence-Based Practice
Jun 14, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
Today’s post comes from Ian Kornbluth, PT, MPT, Neurac Cert., and owner of the Neurac Institute for Physical Therapy in Princeton, New Jersey. Thanks, Ian!
Today's physical therapy clinic faces pressures from declining insurance reimbursements, increasing facility and staff expenses, and a fierce competitive landscape. But you can change the game by investing wisely in new equipment and corresponding treatment programs.
As an out-of-network provider, I offer a unique perspective when it comes to selecting equipment; I constantly search for creative ways to maximize use of my valuable treatment space and get better results for my patients while differentiating myself from the competition. For example, we embraced Pilates roughly five years before it went “mainstream” within the therapy realm. Now, we have the revolutionary Redcord system (see below to learn more) developed by physiotherapists in Norway.cable column, equipment, exercise, grow your clinic, hi/lo, increasing clinic revenue, innovations, physical therapist, physical therapists, Physical Therapy Clinic, pilates, redcord, technology, total gym
Mar 22, 2012| by Jack Sparacio
Our contributing blogger today is WebPT Member, Jack Sparacio, MSPT, COMT, CFMT. He is also the Owner and President of Sparacio Physical Therapy P.C. in New York. We're excited to have Jack sharing his expertise. Thanks Jack!
I know what you’re thinking. There is no way you can open an outpatient private practice for less than $8,000. But the truth is, you can. There are plenty of articles out there that will tell you that opening a private practice requires tens of thousands of dollars and a team of accountants, lawyers and consultants. While that might be the case for some people, it does not have to be the case for you. All it takes is a little creativity and being a cheapskate. Let’s call it being “creatively efficient” (cheap). Of course, you will need patients. We will discuss getting patients later.
Let’s first take a look at what I mean by being creatively efficient. Buying equipment for your office does not need to break the bank. And with the Internet, you can quickly compare prices to save significant amounts of money. Why spend $3,500 on a high-end Ultrasound-Electric Stimulation Combo Machine when you can buy separate portable ultrasound and electrical stimulation units for about $100 each? You will have a lot of choices to make. Just make the more efficient choice. You can buy a $3,000 automatic high-low treatment table or an economical wooden table (with an adjustable backrest) and a step stool for under $500. Or, watch for other clinics going out of business and you may be able to snag a high-low table at a discount. You can buy electrodes for $10 per pack or for $2.00 per pack (which I just did recently). You can buy massage cream for $28 a jar, or for $14 a jar. You get my point. Just do a little bit of research and you can save more than 50% on most items. Use your referral and peer resources and networking to find good deals. Most patients don’t care about fancy bells and whistles. They just want to get better.
Furthermore, there is a very practical method to designing your office. Do you need to buy bulky and expensive exercise machines or can you accomplish the same goals with smaller less expensive materials? A great idea is to utilize different length ballet bars attached to various positions (top, bottom and middle) on a wall. You can then attach various sport-cords and resistance bands for patients to perform hundreds of exercises. Also, keep in mind that when designing an exercise program for a patient, they are not going to have access to that expensive exercise equipment at home. Giving them exercises in your office utilizing sport-cords and resistance bands are reproducible and practical. Moreover, not having all those large exercise machines will enable you to utilize your space more efficiently. Do you need to rent the 3,000 square foot office and pay rent for space you are hoping to grow into? Or can you get your practice up and running in the 800 to 1,000 square foot office for one-third the rent? Growing out of your office is a better problem to have than paying for space you are not utilizing. Subleasing space from other health professionals or health clubs can also be an affordable alternative.
When it comes to marketing and acquiring patients there are only a few things you will need. You will need business cards and letterhead. At this time, you do not need to spend money on any other marketing materials. You don’t need brochures, “Welcome to the Practice” folders, newsletters or even a website. There is no magic marketing widget that is going to have your phone ringing off the wall with new patients. The most important thing you need is time. You need to take the time to go out and establish relationships in the local community. Yes, I know your time is valuable, but there is nothing that can take the place of a strong personal relationship with a local referral source (Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Personal Trainer, etc.). And the good news is you don’t have to lay out any money for your time.
As far as practice management goes, there are methods available to get your practice up and running in a very affordable manner. Outsourcing your billing to a medical billing company can be one such method. A billing company will take anywhere from 5%-12% of the money they collect from you. However, you will not need to lay out all the money that is associated with billing for your services. For example, you don’t need to purchase a billing software program or hire and train a staff person to manage your offices billing. In the early stages of developing a new business, most of your time should be dedicated to providing exceptional care and acquiring new patients. Without patients, your business will have a challenging time being profitable.entrepreneur, how to start a pt clinic, Jack Sparacio, physical therapists, practice management, start a clinic
Mar 5, 2012| by Lindsay Bayuk
Tell us about the ugly side of starting a clinic and what you’ve learned.
Everything to do with marketing has been ugly. It’s mind-boggling how people don’t understand the things that they themselves are supposed to be the experts in. One of the first things I tried to do was a yellow pages advertisement. Their representative sent a rough draft for me to mark up with changes. The draft was way off base so I created my own and sent it back immediately. Shortly after, I received the original draft, without a single change, for my approval. Three times they did this before finally using the version I sent the first time. I once tried to put a sign on a restaurant marquee. The restaurant remodeled and moved the sign into their back office. It’s been one crazy thing after another.
What did I take from this? Write down everything. Don’t assume anything. Make sure you know who you talked to, what they said, etc. And follow up. I hate to micromanage the experts I am hiring to take care of me—why hire them if you have to do it yourself, right? When you're starting a business you don't have time for every little thing but it’s well worth your time to take a peak at what your advertising people are doing. At the moment, I'm plenty busy and I don’t advertise.
If you could do one thing differently what would it be?
I don’t think I would do anything different. I think everything is happening perfectly for me. I almost went with a different location, so if I had, my answers might be completely different. Overall, I am very pleased.
What’s been the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
I can spend the time I need with my patients to get them better. Before opening Horizons I was tired of people telling me I needed to be more productive, telling me how to treat, how long to spend, etc. The bottom line is important, yes, but it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing for me is getting people healthy and well again. That’s the main reason that I started my own clinic. Oh, I may not make a million dollars, but I can't imagine having more job satisfaction and peace of mind.Christine Wood, entrepreneur, Horizons Physical Therapy, how to start a pt clinic, physical therapists, start a clinic
Jan 27, 2012| by Lindsay Bayuk
I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard. -Estée Lauder
Let’s talk about your business. If you’re a private practice owner, you know how important is to get paid by the insurance companies in order to keep the lights on. You didn’t start this practice just to make money, though. If you’re like most private practice owners, you started your clinic to treat patients and control your own destiny.
You may not want to consider yourself a sales professional. Sales can sometimes be considered a dirty word. The good news? True sales is all about building valuable relationships. You started this business to build relationships with your patients and help them get healthy again. So are you in sales? The answer is yes, whether you’ve realized it or not.
Sales is all about making connections and sharing your passion. While the word “sales” may not be your cup of tea, generating revenue and delivering excellent services are the driving forces of any business.grow your clinic, physical therapists, Pump Up the Referrals, referral, referrals, sales, white paper