WebPT Blog - PT best practices
Jun 18, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
While rehab therapists continue to make gains in autonomy and direct access, we cannot forget about referrals. Often, referrals serve as the lifeblood of therapy practices, and the best way to ensure referrals—besides providing exceptional care—is to maintain strong relationships with physicians. With that in mind, here are five tips for improving the therapist-physician relationship to garner more referrals.
1.) Simplify the referral process. It’ll save them time and earn you respect. Here are some tips:
- Make sure your contact information (on your website, business cards, and social media accounts) is current. This may seem obvious, but trust us, it’s crucial.
- If you have a website, consider creating a user-friendly patient referral form for physicians to access, fill out, and submit to your practice. Include this form’s page URL on your business cards and marketing materials. Google Docs can assist you with form-making.
- You can also add a dedicated referral phone line for physicians. Create a free account with Google Voice and record a custom greeting. The beauty of Google Voice? It will transcribe your voicemail to text, so your front office staff can take referral information right from your email and place it into your documentation software.
Jun 17, 2013| by Erica Cohen
You’ve got all your business plan ducks in a row—you’ve analyzed your staffing needs, nailed down your financing options, and set your business goals—and your partners are on board. Now, it’s time to put pen to paper. Well, hopefully fingers to a keyboard because even though most business plans have gotten much shorter than they used to be, they’re still pretty detailed documents. However, as Palo Alto Software President Tim Berry points out, “don’t confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis.” He suggests you “rein in your prose” by using:
Simple and to-the-point sentences
Clear, easy-to-understand language (i.e., no jargon, buzzwords, or acronyms)
Bullet points for easy scanning
In addition to keeping text simple, Berry also recommends you do the same with numbers by using business charts. Just be sure to place your source numbers near each chart, reference each chart within the text, and include:
Jun 17, 2013| by Erica Cohen
Whether you’re in the process of starting your own business or you’ve been in business for years now but just never got around to writing your business plan, this blog is for you. Here, I've compiled some great information to help you put together this ultra important document. Let’s start with the basics:
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a formal document detailing everything about your business. Venture coach Stever Robbins writes in an article on Entrepreneur.com that a business plan includes “your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan, and staffing plan.” He also goes on to point out that your business plan drives the future because it contains goals for all major areas (sales, expenses, hiring, and financing). “Once laid out,” he writes, “the targets become performance goals.” As such, your business plan will act as a baseline for monitoring your progress so you remain accountable as well as a tool for “after-the-fact learning” if you perform better or worse than expected.
Who needs a business plan?
In short, anyone who is running a business should have a business plan—especially when working with investors, partners, or employees. According to another article on Entrepreneur.com, “...anybody beginning or extending a venture that will consume significant resources [money, energy, or time]...and that is expected to return a profit, should take the time to draft some kind of plan.” The article goes on to discuss the times when it would be appropriate—and beneficial—to update an existing plan (for example, if you’ve reached a milestone, brought on a new partner, or are about to enter a new financial period). In other words, an out-of-date business plan won’t do you any good, so be sure to set reminders that trigger you to review it in intervals appropriate to your business.
Jun 12, 2013| by Matt Stone
Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. He fights crime on the weekends when he’s not competing in canoe dancing. His monthly column covers all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic.
If you’re ready to start harnessing the power of email to market your clinic, you’ll need to figure out whether you’ll write the content yourself or ask someone else to do it for you. Either way, there’s a big difference between just sending a marketing email and sending a marketing email that works. And while there’s no silver bullet for creating the perfect email, here are a few items to consider before you hit the send button:
The Subject Line
This is the first thing an email recipient sees, which makes it arguably the most important part of your message. Entire blogs can be, have been, and will continue to be, completely devoted to perfecting the subject line only. But because this post isn’t solely about subject lines, I’ll just give you a couple of quick hitters:
- Keep it short (50 characters or fewer)
- Don’t include spam triggers (dollar signs, exclamation points, lots of capitalization, or the word “free”)
- Be direct—let people know what’s in the email instead of dancing around the topic or trying to trick people into opening it
Do: “Complimentary consultation at John Doe Therapy”
Don’t: “Get excited! The best rehab therapy in town can be yours for FREE!”
Jun 6, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
One of the most frequently discussed topics in the realm of rehab therapy (PT, OT, and SLP) is brand awareness. When the general public thinks “back pain,” they most commonly think “chiropractor” for the solution. How can we achieve such instant associations in the general public for physical therapy? We need to educate the masses on what PT is and how it benefits everyone. Your patients can help with this endeavor. How? Through brand evangelism.
In The Thank You Economy (if you haven’t read it yet, definitely do), author Gary Vaynerchuk explains that the Internet “has given consumers back their voice.” Customers (i.e., patients) now wield tremendous power with their opinions on social media. And as WOMMA demonstrates with this infographic, their opinions matter—big time.
Your practice may have always had brand evangelists—those loyal patients that adore you, recommend you, and sing your high praises, all without being asked. But with the advent of social media, they’re more crucial than ever, because these evangelists do all the high praise singing they’ve always done, but now publicly and instantly online.brand evangelists, marketing, PT best practices, Referral Marketing, referrals, social media, testimonials
Jun 4, 2013| by Heidi Jannenga PT
As a small business owner myself, I understand the trials, tribulations, and joys of running a company—and there are certainly many of each. It can be a roller coaster of responsibilities, expectations, and pressure. And that’s a lot for any person to take on. But with all the downs, there are plenty of ups. For me, one of my greatest moments as a business owner was realizing that I was an entrepreneur—a badass, rockstar, risk-taking entrepreneur. After that, I developed a new perspective—a new outlook—on my role in the company, my role as a mom, and my role as a wife.
In my time as a business owner, I’ve learned several big lessons—everything from how to work alongside my husband and balance my professional life with my personal one to juggling so much responsibility and having the confidence to get the job done. And though some may label the whole “life lesson” premise as cliché, it doesn’t make the wisdom any less relevant or relatable. In fact, when I spoke last month at a Women in Leadership event, life lessons were on everyone’s minds. Maybe that’s because “life lessons” often prove to be valuable advice.
So what’s the biggest piece of advice that I can give to any small business owner? Know yourself—and your worth. It took me a long time to see myself as worthy of being in the position that I’m in and even longer to understand why people cared what I had to say. Don’t let that be your mistake. You’re an expert and you bring value to this industry. Have confidence, and be an advocate for yourself and your industry. It’ll prove invaluable on your journey to business success.
Now what other advice can we here at WebPT offer? Well, stay tuned to our blog and this month’s webinar. We’re tackling a slew of small business best practices—everything from hiring and retaining top talent to building and strengthening your relationships with physicians. We’re on a mission to help you be better in business, to help you develop the biz savvy you need to ignite and fuel that (possibly) elusive confidence.
Already got crazy business wherewithal? Great! Share your biggest lesson learned in the comments section below.
May 29, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
We believe in empowering the entire rehab community to achieve greatness in therapy practice. That’s why we created WebPT, an intuitive, web-based EMR solution exclusively for rehab therapists that offers comprehensive documentation, scheduling, practice management, and billing services.
Don’t let the name fool you. WebPT isn’t solely for physical therapists. Rather, it’s for the entire rehab therapy community, and we’ve custom tailored our EMR solution to suit the practice of pelvic health therapists. In fact, pelvic health therapists helped create the WebPT Pelvic Health Module.
May 15, 2013| by Matt Stone
Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. He’s an Aries and is pretty sure unicorns are real. His monthly column will cover all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic.
There are plenty of things to worry about as a small business owner—so does it make sense to add email marketing to the list? Absolutely.
For starters, email marketing returned $39.40 for every dollar spent in 2012, according to the Direct Marketing Association. This return far surpassed the next closest marketing initiative ($22.38 through Web search).
And besides revenue, email marketing makes sense in so many other ways, including:
- It’s cheap (many email marketing tools have free or low-cost plans for small businesses based on number of emails sent)
- It’s easy (you write emails every day, and most email marketing programs have turnkey templates to get you started quickly)
- It allows you to maintain relationships with patients and create brand awareness (think monthly newsletters, holiday cards, and birthday notes)
May 2, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
Beginning July 1, 2013, CMS is requiring that you complete functional limitation reporting (FLR) on Medicare part B patients in order to receive reimbursement for your services. While WebPT can monumentally help with this task through our soon-to-be-released integrated functional limitation reporting feature, it’s important that you still understand FLR thoroughly, especially because clinical judgment does play a large role in its completion. So, with that in mind, let’s tackle the basics of FLR.
Why functional limitation reporting?
CMS created FLR to collect information regarding beneficiaries’ functions and conditions, the services therapists provide, and the functional outcomes patients achieve. CMS will use all of this information to better understand the beneficiary population that uses therapy services and how their functional limitations change as a result of the therapy they complete. Furthermore, CMS will use the data they collect to reform future payment structures.
Does FLR apply to rehab therapists?
According to the APTA, “All practice settings that provide outpatient therapy services must perform FLR. Specifically, FLR applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language-pathology (SLP) services furnished in hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities (CORFs), rehabilitation agencies, home health agencies (when the beneficiary is not under a home health plan of care), and in private offices of therapists, physicians, and non-physician practitioners.”compliance, FLR, functional limitation reporting, g-codes, modifiers, outcome measures, PT best practices
Apr 24, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
You’ve taken steps to go green within your clinic. Now it’s time to let your community know all the good you’ve done—not just to gain additional customers, but also to encourage other businesses in your community to follow suit. Here are five steps to marketing your green efforts.
1.) Know your audience. According to an Entrepreneur article, Matt Villano explains that “marketing your business as green is a great idea—provided your customers are into that sort of thing.” Scope out your community. Do your customers seem interested in the green topic? Are local businesses in other industries touting their greenness? Assess your current and potential audience to make sure they’ll be receptive to your marketing. In short, never simply assume people will want to visit your business just because you’re greener than your competitors.
2.) Define your green. The term “green” means different things to different people. Perhaps you’ve taken several steps to conserve electricity and water in your practice or you’ve started a carpooling program. In either case, it’s important to define your green both to your practice and your audience. Most importantly, make sure what you’re doing truly is green or beneficial to your community and environment, because misrepresenting your “greenness”—also known as “greenwashing”-—can prove monumentally detrimental to your business.business, environmentally friendly, go green, marketing, National Occupational Therapy Month, Occupational Therapy, physical therapy, PT best practices