May 31, 2012| Charlotte Bohnett
Ever rush back to your house to double-check that you remembered to lock up? You care about security, about having all your belongings safe and sound. So do we. In fact, we’re a bit obsessed. But you can never be too cautious when it comes to your clinic’s data, right?
Enter IO Data Centers, the crème de la crème of data storage. With centers in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona as well as Edison, New Jersey, IO is home to some of the most profitable and security-conscious companies in the world, including us. Not only do we house all your WebPT data here, but we store all our own data, too.
Who is IO?
I’ll let their company video do the talkin’:
May 30, 2012| Erica Cohen
As technology fanatics, we absolutely love when our Members pose questions about how they can use WebPT with other nifty products on the market right now. Case in point: the speech recognition software, Dragon. After doing a little “yay tech!” happy dance, we got to work researching this fire-breathing product and discovering best practices for PTs.
Dragon Dictation, created by software tech company Nuance, is an “easy-to-use voice recognition application that allows you to quickly speak and instantly see your text or email messages.” Dragon currently operates in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch.
While most PTs are comfortable typing their WebPT documentation, some therapists crave dictation, and with Dragon, talk-to-text lovers can swap their recorder for their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You talk. Dragon types. All for free.
But it’s definitely not for everyone and if you’re used to a traditional dictation service this is a totally different beast. We also don’t recommend using your iPad as your practice’s only device—there isn’t a tablet out there (yet) that has enough power to optimally support WebPT on its own.
So how can you use Dragon Dictation with WebPT? We picked the brain of our resident physical therapist and WebPT Marketplace Manager, Brian Kunich, PT, OCS, COMT, to find out how he used Dragon to enhance his documentation. Here’s what I gathered from our convos:
May 29, 2012| Erica Cohen
For most people, any mention of the cloud causes flashbacks to high school science class—a white, fluffy cumulus or dark, stormy nimbus. But when we talk cloud, we mean neither. We’re talking the techy type: cloud computing.
Cloud computing is, quite simply, internet-based computing. Essentially, shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices (like your smartphone) on demand. Think about it like an electricity grid for information—you plug in (sign on) and immediately are able to access the flow of information available to you without needing your own generating station (in this case, bulky servers to house all your data).
Have a Gmail account? Then you’ve used cloud-based software. You get all the benefits of access, storage, tools, and features without any of the hefty storage or upkeep responsibilities you might have if you were running it directly from your hard drive.
Want more perks?
May 24, 2012| Erica Cohen
Your anything-that-starts-with-a-lowercase-i addiction is getting worse. It started innocently enough with an iPod, or maybe one of the first iPhones. But for years you could leave it at home, in the car, or at the bottom of your desk drawer without puddling to the floor in the sobs of severe separation anxiety.
As if that wasn’t enough, here’s some more fodder to fuel your Apple affinity—three must-have 2012 iPad apps
for physical therapists.
Core ($39.99) Make Core the core (see what I did there?) of your iPad app collection and you’ll have over 250 clinical tests to diagnose musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders at your fingertips, plus detailed descriptions, instructions, and videos on how to use them. Here are some of the coolest features:
- pocket reference with periodic updates of emerging research
- Covers tendinous, neuropathic, ligamentous problems for each body part
- Reliable and valid diagnostics
- Links to supporting medical references
- Reference reviews via abstracts in PUBMed
- Free updates when new tests are available in the literature, or newstudies with diagnostic properties for old tests are published (i.e., no need to buy a newer edition)
EIM PT Mobile ($1.99) Choose from over 150 of the top physical therapy journals, blogs, and news sources and stream the feed directly to your iPad. Then, share the top stories with your entire network through Facebook, Twitter, and email. And feel good doing it; 10% of EIM’s proceeds will go to The Foundation for Physical Therapy or PTHelpForHaiti.org.
Pocket Body ($29.99) How better to visualize the human musculoskeletal system than with this anatomically accurate interactive atlas of the human anatomy on your iPad? Experience high definition illustrations, add learning notes, and self-assess with built-in anatomy quizzes. View each layer of the skin, musculature, ligaments, and skeleton from an anterior, posterior, lateral, and plantar view.
How do you like them Apples? Let us know about your favorite PT iPad apps today!
May 23, 2012| Charlotte Bohnett
Last week, we tackled the topic of Internet connections. In that post, I noted that many of our Members found that WebPT works best via a cable connection. That got me thinking: what about browsers, hardware, routers, and all that other tech gear that makes your clinic run?
Apparently, I wasn't the only one wondering these things. Frequently, our Members ask us what technologies we recommend to optimize WebPT. While our software works great with just about any setup, there are some steps you can take to create the most ideal WebPT experience.
We recommend Cable or DSL Internet with a connection speed of at least 1 Mbps (megabits per second) upload and 10 Mbps download. If your clinic uses QuickScan and/or eDoc, you'll benefit from a faster upload speed.
Pretty much any current wireless router will work great with WebPT. However, many therapists have said that the Linksys E3000 and Asus RT-N16 router models work well. Just make sure that the quality of your router is in in proportion to your clinic’s router workload; (the more Internet users, the better the router you’ll need).internet connection, internet for PT clinic, ipad, Mac, PC, setup, smartphone, software, tablet, web browser, WebPT
May 22, 2012| Charlotte Bohnett
We all know prescribed home exercise is a key part of patient recovery and rehab, so it can be pretty frustrating when patients do not correctly follow or comply with the prescribed program. Non-compliance with home exercise programs (HEP) can really hamper the overall goals you set for your patients. Limited progress equals additional clinic visits and ultimately higher healthcare costs. Needless to say, HEP compliance is a big deal.
Lauren Baier, a biology major at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, understands this—so much so, she focused her undergraduate thesis on the topic.
Curious as to how to improve patient HEP compliance, Lauren turned toward the web. In other studies, researchers found that health apps and websites dramatically influenced self-care. Lauren wondered if the same was true for prescribed at-home physical therapy exercises.
Here at WebPT, we offer our Members access to an HEP feature that allows a therapist to create patient-specific at-home treatment plans. Members can email their patients the exercises along with supporting photos and videos. Working specifically with our HEP feature, Lauren examined how these emails influence HEP compliance.
Recruiting 29 fellow students as volunteers (59% female; average age of 23), Lauren randomly divided her sample into three groups. The first group was the control group, while the second and third groups were experimental. Each group received the same home exercise program, which consisted of five core and abdominal strength exercises to be completed every week over a 63-day period.
May 18, 2012| Charlotte Bohnett
As a small business, there are tons of apps, websites, and digital tools you can use to help you manage, market, and grow your practice. Here, I break down nine small biz wonders to aid you and your clinic.
If you’re not yet on LinkedIn, it’s officially time to sign up. LinkedIn is the ultimate networking site. You can communicate with physicians and customers, both of which can provide great feedback, reviews, and referrals. From winning business and raising capital to discovering best practices and giving advice, there are a myriad of other ways you can use LinkedIn, all for free.
Now the third most popular social media network, Pinterest takes brainstorming to a whole new level. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. You set up categorical “boards,” and then “pin” webpages to each one. Everything you “pin,” others can see and re-pin to their own boards, and vice versa. From planning new clinics to organizing exercises, PTs are using Pinterest. In fact, PediaStaff has a weekly “Pinterest Pin for Discussion” series in which they present a problem and users brainstorm a solution via a Pinterest board.
PartnerUp focuses on the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. On this message board-style site, you can find business partners, post help wanted/volunteer ads, and get answers to business (or PT) questions. Doing a simple search for “physical therapy” brought up numerous PT discussion forums, users, and businesses, all ready to connect with you.
May 17, 2012| Lindsay Bayuk
I wanted to take a moment to make everyone aware of some great interactions that are happening on Twitter, where healthcare providers are discussing issues pertinent to the current and future state of care. (If you aren’t on Twitter, go register right now!) The Twitterverse is full of extremely bright, passionate people sharing ideas and research.
Recently a new hashtag was born on Twitter as the result of many of us trying to keep track of our discussions about practice issues in physical therapy. The tag is #solvept. A TweetChat (organized discussion) happens on Twitter during #solvePT Tuesdays from 9-10 pm EST; however, anyone can post a thought or question at any time using the #solvept, and engage with other users who may be interested in the discussion. This link introduces the idea and an overview of the tweets is provided after the chat for those who may want to re-visit the topic.
Recent topics on #solvept Tuesday evenings have included Continuing Education, Productivity, and Direct Access. Join in to discuss ways that we can all become change agents to improve the profession that we love. Every one of us matters when it comes to educating the public, influencing our national and state associations, and generating support for change at a legislative level.
The second hashtag I want to mention is one that I co-host with Dr. David Geier. Dr. Geier is an orthopaedic surgeon and the Director of MUSC Sports Medicine. He is the Head Team Physician for the Charleston Battery soccer team and Chief Tournament Physician for the Family Circle Cup women’s professional tennis tournament. He has served as orthopaedic consultant for professional and elite sports teams, including the United States Women’s Soccer team and the Eagles USA Rugby National team. He also serves as the head team physician for many area high schools and is the head physician for many recreational sports teams and leagues.
We host #socialortho on the first Wednesday of each month from 9-10pm EST. We usually get a great mix of physical therapists, ATC’s and MD’s (as well as an occasional patient) to discuss topics such as social media in healthcare, practice issues, clinical topics, and patient/provider relationship issues. I would personally love to get more patients interacting, as it is always interesting to get feedback on these issues from their perspective. Transcripts are provided after the chat for those who missed the live discussion or simply want to read through again.
There are many, many Healthcare-related TweetChats that occur weekly or monthly. This Healthcare TweetChat calendar highlights the ones that registered on this site: http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/tweet-chats/
I look forward to seeing you around the Twitterverse for continued conversation!
May 14, 2012| Charlotte Bohnett
There are several types of internet connections out there. We’ve got lightning fast as well as the slow and not-so-steady. One thing is for sure: no connection is like another. So what are the differences? And which one is right for your clinic?
Dialup, which runs over telephone lines and relies on modems, is the slowest type of Internet connection. As GlobalCom puts it, “this is the grandpappy of internet connections.” While dialup is generally more accessible (especially in rural areas) and inexpensive, the connection does occupy a phone line and requires a lot of patience. Be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting for pages to load. Sites with interactive forms, images, streaming music, or videos will most likely not load at all.
3G/4G (wireless cellular internet) is available through cell phone providers and typically on smartphones and tablet devices. Many mobile devices, though, have a “hotspot” feature that, when enabled, emit an internet signal. This allows other internet-ready devices, like your laptop, to connect to 3 or 4G. While this internet connection is convenient, speed and connectivity are common issues. Because every cell provider customer is tapping into the same connection as everyone else, 3G and 4G speeds aren’t that much faster than dial up.
Satellite is faster than dial up and offers good connectivity. However, this connection is quite expensive—too expensive for home users or small businesses. Additionally, because satellite internet connects with satellites, activity issues similar to those experienced with satellite TV can occur.
May 14, 2012| Erica Cohen
As the war between Apple-ites and PC-ers rages on, it’s easy to get caught in the middle. If you’ve already put your stake in the ground, no snarky web images, clever TV commercials, or humorous print ads are going to sway you. But if you’re a computer newbie or looking for a change, the competing messages can be more than a little overwhelming.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last twenty years, you’ve probably been inundated by the Mac vs. PC personas—Mac is the cool kid, pretty boy, hipster, hacker, designer (think ripped jeans and a t-shirt) where PC is the grown up, serious, focused, business-minded analyst (think three piece suit and, just maybe, a paisley tie).
Kelly Ford, Content Lead for Hunch, Inc., examined differences between Mac and PC people in their self-professed aesthetic preferences, media choices, and personality traits in her article “Mac vs PC People: Personality Traits & Aesthetic/Media Choices.”