Sep 29, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
We understand that Physical Therapy clinics can get hectic at times and trying to stay on top of alerts and notifications can be difficult. WebPT understands this and has created a number of real time alerts that are displayed under the “At a Glace” section on the dashboard.
You may see these notifications every day, but do you really know what they mean? Below is a summary of each notification you may see on your dashboard. Notifications are specific to administrative, patient and documentation related information.
- Incomplete Patient Records - Displays those patients with missing demographic information, such as an address or phone number.
- Incomplete Insurance Records - Similar to Incomplete Patient Records, this displays Insurance records with missing demographic information.
- Incomplete Physician Records - Also similar to the above, this alert displays referring Physicians with missing demographic information.
- Fax Alerts - Displays the number of failed faxes in your clinic. Clicking Fax Alerts will bring you to the Fax Log Report.
- Ending Authorizations - This is a report that lists those patients with Authorizations that are coming to an end.
- Expired Authorizations - Similar to Ending Authorizations, this report lists those patients with Authorizations that have expired.
- Needs New Authorization - This report lists those patients that need a new Authorization because they’ve exceeded the number of authorized visits.
- Needs Progress Note - This alert displays those patients where Progress Notes are needed. The system default is set to 10 visits or 30 days.
- Incomplete Documents - This report lists those patients with documentation that was started but was saved as a draft and never finalized.
- Incomplete Co-Sign Docs - Alerts you that a PTA has forwarded documentation to you that needs co-signing.
The “At a Glance” section is continuously updating to give you the most up to date information for our members. WebPT’s goal is to help improve the efficiency of Physical Therapy clinics by providing information that is specific and useful. If you have any suggestions about our “At a Glance” section, we’d love to hear them. Please leave your ideas below!
Sep 27, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
Guest post from David Straight, PT, DPT, OCS
When it comes to social media marketing (SMM) for physical therapy practices, many wonder if it is worth the time and effort. When asked, how much business they have received from their social media efforts, the typical answer is, “I am not sure.” Some go as far as saying that they don’t get any patients from it at all.
One thing that is attractive about Internet marketing is the easy-to-access data from which you can make decisions. While the data sets might be relatively small for a PT practice with just 2-3 locations, you can gather enough information to make the decision as to whether your SMM efforts are a good return on your investment/time.
If you have say 500+ fans of your physical therapy practice’s Facebook Page, the data we gather from our clients suggests you probably do get some business out of it. While you may not be able to state the precise number of patients your SMM has generated, you can look at other indicators for clues and have some idea if you should continue, increase, or decrease the resources you dedicate to SMM.
Work Backwards to See the Big Picture
When it comes to generating repeat patients from social media marketing, the Facebook sales cycle (steps the practice follows to guide prospective patients from initial contact to getting them in the door for initial eval.) is pretty straight forward. It looks something like this:
- Current patients are encouraged to “Like” your Facebook Page.
- Current patients are discharged.
Then assuming some of your discharged patients have problems you can treat, here’s how Facebook can get them back to your practice.
- Former patients see your wall posts on their Newsfeeds.
- Former patients go to your website or Facebook Page (depending upon the link they click) to read more about solutions for their problems.
- Former patients call your office and schedule becoming a new patient again.
In order to measure your key performance indicator (KPI) of new patients that come from your SMM efforts, you need to access some basic marketing information:
- You need to know how many unique visitors your practice website gets each month (traffic).
- You need to know how many of those visitors are converted to patients.
- You need to know how many website visitors you generate from Facebook.
Now, let’s use an example to illustrate these concepts. Let’s say you get 600 visitors per quarter that visit your website (this is pretty common). Let’s also assume that 24 of your new patients are influenced by the search engines or your website when choosing to come to your clinic (also, pretty typical). That equates to 4 percent of the visitors to your website converting to patients.
Now let’s say you launch a SMM campaign on Facebook. You build up your fans and you have several hundred people that Like your Facebook Page. You check your web statistics and see that over the last quarter you received 200 visits to your website from your Facebook Page. Now simply multiply by the 4 percent conversion factor. The result of your simple calculation is that 8 patients were likely to have come back to your practice because of your SMM efforts.
Accurate but Not Precise
When it comes to marketing, if a campaign does not generate new referrals, it doesn’t make any sense. Furthermore, SMM can be a time sink and the last thing most PT practice owners have is extra time. However, if you do measure website traffic, and have calculated a simple key performance indicator (i.e. what percentage of web traffic converts to new patients), you can calculate an accurate, not precise, but accurate number of patients your social media marketing efforts are generating. From there, you can decide if it is a good return on investment.
David Straight, PT, DPT, OCS is the president of E-rehab.com - His company provides Physical Therapy Websites, Video email newsletters, Search, and Social Media for physical therapy private practices. His company does not work with POPTS. He can be reached at by phone at 800-468-5161 or
Sep 26, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
As the world speeds up, people rely more on mobile technology to keep them updated while on the go. Smartphones, Netbooks and Tablets are used for more communicate, manage their finances and keep their schedules in check. As we come to accept these technologies as a part of our daily lives, we near the final frontier: Healthcare.
As usual, healthcare is the final application of emerging technology. The unfortunate part about this is that it's probably the segment that could benefit the most.
The Beryl Institute recently showed a 10% increase in patient satisfaction and a 40% improvement in satisfaction with educational materials when interactive technology is provided. Physical Therapists have a great opportunity to improve the patient experience. Many therapists give their patients a home exercise program when they leave the clinic. Using something interactive, specifically video, can increase patient satisfaction and in turn create better outcomes.
In our effort to keep physical therapists on the cutting edge of technology, WebPT is releasing an integrated Home Exercise Program that includes video. This program can be sent directly through email to give patients access to their HEP wherever they like.
Mobile technology is everywhere, and healthcare is just catching up. Keeping your clinic up to date with the latest technology will improve the patient experience, and WebPT is working to ensure that you get there. We will be hosting a Webinar on October 4th and October 6th to explain how the new HEP feature will work. If you are interested in learning more, please register here.
Sep 26, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
With several years of experience providing EMR software to Physical Therapists all over the country, we have heard a million different needs for a million different scenarios. One of the more surprising requests is the desire for a system that "does all the work for me."
We have thought a lot about this request and decided that it is rooted in education. EMR is the future of healthcare and with the future comes ideas of artificial intelligence and flying vehicles. We aren’t there yet, and I’m not sure EMR will ever get to that point.
Why can't an EMR just do it all for me?
One of the main reasons is that EMR is not a solution, but rather a tool. Its a tool to help you do what you already do, only faster, better and for less money.
You spent all of those years slaving over the books and gaining all that expertise; it would be a mistake to assume that software could replicate all of the nuanced human elements that go into a patient visit. With that in mind I would like to say, ‘No, the system will not complete your note for you.' Some other EMR providers come close to this. They allow you to simply check off some boxes without the ability to elaborate. The notes that come out of those systems read something like this.
Fell off bike and hurt shoulder
This note doesn’t pick up on any of the nuances of the patient, it doesn’t accurately cover the conversation that occurred during the subjective portion of the exam, and it doesn’t allow anyone in your office, or any other medical office for that matter, to take your information and use it to better treat and care for this patient. There must be an element of professional responsibility in an EMR. It must be designed to allow you to do what you do best; treat patients.
As EMR becomes a more relevant topic, some have raised questions about the legal ramifications that may result if you simply check off the boxes. What if there is a negative outcome and you have to ensure your documentation provides ample evidence of your treatment? When you present the above note as evidence, I am sure there will be a barrage of tough questions coming your way. If your EMR wasn’t so rigid and allowed you to use your medical knowledge in your examination, you would have a detailed account of the patient, their injuries, and your testing and care.
There is a fine line between what an EMR can do and what it should do. The human expertise is needed more than ever in healthcare and allowing an EMR to guide clinicians down a predetermined path isn’t the best way to document. With WebPT, for instance, we allow you to template out cases that you see often, but you always have ample room to test anything you like and type out notes and nuances that your patients will give to you in a visit. You can completely switch courses in the note and pick up right where you left off.
When searching for an EMR, make sure you have ample opportunity to make educated decisions about your patients without being guided by a rigid EMR.
Sep 20, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
Fits like a Glove?
A recent article assessing the effect of EMR Implementation on clinical productivity came to a rather common sense solution. The evaluation found that “different tools work better in different settings and that one-size-fits-all is not a valid approach to EHR implementation.” This finding is predictable and holds true in almost all applications. The interesting part of this article is where the assessment goes next. They go on to speak about usability and how they have attempted to create a very user-friendly experience. While usability can hinder your productivity, there is another factor that is just as, if not more important, than usability that most EMR vendors ignore. That aspect is specialization.
A majority of the vendors out there are used in different offices for many different disciplines. If they assert that a one size fits all solution isn’t the best way to go, then why are they offering that exact thing to their potential customers?
We have always been concerned with usability, but at the crux of our company is our focus on Physical Therapy as an industry.
Specialization leads to Usability
Our Documentation, clinical workflow, reporting, features, Etc. are all based on the needs of a Physical Therapy Practice. The specialization of WebPT allows us to eliminate many of the productivity issues right off the bat. The system was designed to mimic the flow of care in the office. At this point in the process of development is where you can see that specialization automatically leads to usability. If our most basic task is to build and EMR that is the best choice for physical therapists, we have to make sure that all of their needs are met. Usability is a piece to that puzzle.
I think the state of the EMR industry as it currently stands is missing the point when it comes to implementation. The conversations all revolve around usability, but that’s as far as they go. What about making a system that fits the needs of a particular discipline? Every medical specialty is different by nature and so EMR vendors need to realize that. We understand the needs of a very specific group of clinicians and seek to meet those needs 100%.
Other EMR vendors should realize that fitting every specialty into one EMR would kill productivity no matter how many meetings you have about usability. When searching for an EMR vendor, make sure to establish their focus on your profession or you might be left with one-size-fits-all software.
Sep 19, 2011| Lindsay Bayuk
Even some of us non-physical therapists know that regular exercise is beneficial for many reasons. The Mayo Clinic listed the top 7 benefits of regular exercise as:
- Weight Control
- Combating Health Conditions and Diseases
- Improving Mood
- Boosting Energy
- Improving Sleep
- Improving Intimacy
- A Good Time
Sep 14, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
WebPT has a number of reports in the system to help clinics better manage their patient load. Our members use our reporting system to track CPT codes, referrals, and notes among other things.
The Lost Patient Log Report
One report that is extremely useful, but doesn’t receive as much fanfare is the "Lost Patient Log." The truth is, the lost patient log is probably the most useful report that you aren’t using on a daily basis and can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
The Lost Patient Log is a report that manages the patients who aren’t coming into your clinic. Let’s face it; Physical Therapy is one of the many healthcare disciplines plagued by cancellations and no shows. Once a patient stops coming into your clinic, how are you and your staff working to get them back in the doors? If you aren’t doing anything to track these lost patients, you are essentially leaving money on the table.
The Lost Patient Log exists to solve exact this problem. Within the report you can set a time frame that fits your clinic needs. You can set the timeframe based on ‘Days Since Last Appointment’. This area is completely customizable based on your needs. You can either run a report for the lifetime of the clinic or from a beginning date as well.
Once you click on the Generate Report button, WebPT will give you a list of all active patients that have not been seen within the timeframe that you previously specified. These are all the patients who have slipped through the cracks as the clinic and who still need treatment.
- Most of our clinics run this report once per week and
- have a key staff member call all of the patients who are still in need of therapy. You can run this report at any interval you like, but the once a week approach seems to be the most efficient.
- If you call a patient and you decide to leave a message, you can record within the patient record (under the chart notes area) the date and time of your message. Implementing this practice will ensure other staff members don’t call the same patient over and over asking them the same questions.
Cleaner Record Keeping and Increased Revenue
WebPT members who make this report a part of their daily or weekly administrative tasks have reported cleaner record keeping and increased revenue. They have found that often patients stopped coming to treatment for reasons that had to do with scheduling or finances rather than simple refusal of treatment. This report is free with the system and can help put money back in your pocket.
Sep 12, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
The social revolution
One thing we learned based on all the feedback is that the medical community, physical therapists especially, are very interested in joining the social revolution, but they just don’t know how. These tools were never a part of their daily lives and now they are foreign and hard to understand. This idea leads us to the fundamental problem of knowledge and comfort level and how that leads to acceptance. We hear a lot of “This all sounds great, but I don’t have the time” or “I think this Social Media thing just isn’t for me.” Ignoring this movement in communication is a folly, and successful clinics everywhere will take the time to learn, integrate, and update their social outlets.
Sep 10, 2011| Mike Mannheimer
Usability provides the foundation
At WebPT, we are glad that the EMR industry is finally realizing that usability is the key to adoption. The widespread use of Electronic Medical Records will not only save money and time for providers, but also for patients. The benefits of full EMR adoption are immense.
Proposed "solution" to increase usability
What is somewhat perplexing is the method that is being proposed to increase usability of existing systems. A recent article from Kevin MD cited the Government as a great way to standardize and test usability requirements. I have some issues with this approach and I am sure many providers are with me on this one. Before I explain, let’s get some background.
Sep 8, 2011| Lindsay BayukToday we’re excited to share with you our upcoming release of our Pelvic Health Module. We’ve had a lot of our members who specialize in Pelvic Health treatments specifically asking for this feature. We’ve heard your requests and here is our answer!
Included in this new module are various outcome measurement tools for Pelvic Health. We’ve also included a Pelvic Health profile that automatically loads in your SOAP notes.Included Diagnostic Testing Questionnaires:
- Expanded Medical History
- Sexual Activity