Apr 18, 2013| Charlotte Bohnett
Today’s blog post comes from the Recycling Occupational Therapist Barbara Smith.
I am thrilled that WebPT has asked me to share some therapeutic interventions created from recycled materials as we celebrate Earth Day. I began using household items such as detergent bottles, cardboard boxes, and old socks to create activities that engage severely multiply-handicapped children and adults more than 20 years ago. Because my homemade activities were individualized, they worked better than commercially available products and the environmental impact was an added benefit!
I describe how to design, fabricate, and adapt many of these activities in my book The Recycling Occupational Therapist, and anyone who is aware of my work knows that I love to make activities out of vibrant, strong, and easy to grasp detergent bottles. However, today I will share some simple activities made out of socks and supermarket plastic bags.
Simply fill socks with grocery bags and stitch the ends together to create a ring. Vary the sizes according to your needs using small ones to place on ring stacks and larger ones (or sew several small ones together) to use in the following large “sensory ring” activity shown in my video:
Apr 17, 2013| Charlotte Bohnett
Today's blog post comes from Senior Writers Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
We’ve all seen the commercials: catchy music paired with a montage of all the awesome things you can do with an iPad. The iPad—and Apple, in general—is all about the wow factor. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has also released a pretty spiffy tablet called Surface with tons of entertaining marketing to boot. Then there’s all the techy Android tablets, like the new Yoga and the Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab, as well as the Kindle Fire.
With these gadgets offering so much functionality, mobility, and quintessential coolness (which patients seem to really dig), it’s no wonder therapists are bringing iPads and other tablets into their practices. In addition to using these devices for their text-to-speech functionality (for therapists who prefer to dictate their notes) as well as for documentation and practice management purposes, pediatric OTs can also use tablets to aid in treatment and development. What child doesn’t want to play with an iPad?
Here are some of our fave apps for pediatric occupational therapists:
Fine Motor and Spatial Reasoning
- Dexteria is a set of hand exercises that improve fine motor skills and handwriting.Through the multi-touch interface of the iPad, patients can enhance strength, control, and dexterity with this app.
- POV is a set of activities that teach spatial reasoning skills. Developed by the makers of Dexteria, this app helps patients develop an understanding of left and right as well as math and mapping skills.
- Ready to Print (Apple and Amazon Apps) helps teach pre-writing skills to children in order to build a strong foundation for beginning print writers. The app works on visual-motor, visual-perceptual, and fine motor skills.
- iDoodle Card This free app is great for working on basic visual motor and visual perceptual skills. With 54 different drawing activities--everything from mazes, coloring, drawing, and freehand--the app has six primary colored markers and an eraser. Plus, patients can save their creations; you can alsoscreenshot them for reference outside of the app.
Apr 16, 2013| Erica Cohen
By this point, you know the importance of recycling—why “going green” isn’t only good for the environment but good for your clinic. But there’s more to it than simply putting out a blue bin (although that certainly helps). In order to really make an impact, we have to start much sooner—we have to pay attention to our consumption. The less we consume (use), the better it is for all of us—our world, our children, and our children’s children.
While that goes for everything—less gas, less plastic, less water, less electricity—one of the easiest ways to start conserving is cutting down on paper.
Apr 15, 2013| Charlotte Bohnett
Spend just a few minutes on Pinterest and you’ll discover a plethora of fun and out-of-the-box PT, OT, and SLP activities—especially for kids. Finding environmentally-friendly (and more grown-up) therapeutic exercises might prove a bit more challenging. With that in mind, here are three environmentally-friendly activities for all ages:
Gardening empowers people to create something beautiful, while increasing plant life in their community (and attracting lovely butterflies, ladybugs, and hummingbirds). Even better, planting vegetables and herbs encourage healthy, natural eating.
Gardening strengthens nearly all of the muscles of the body with the movements involved in planting, weeding, and maintaining. It’s fantastic exercise that many people don’t view as such. Plus, the use of tools provides hand therapy, and the different visual, tactile, and olfactory sensations involved with gardening can assist with occupational therapy. There are also these benefits as noted in a press release from Conshohocken Physical Therapy:
- Gardening burns approximately 272 calories per hour (translation: a grande cafe latte from Starbucks).
- Outdoor gardening provides exposure to vitamin D, which is vital for bone strength. (Just make sure patients slather on the sunscreen before gardening and at regular intervals. Also, some plants need partial or full shade, so mix those in so patients get shade, too.)
Before you assign your patients gardening (which if you have a yard at your clinic, you could have your patients do there), check out these PT pointers and ergonomic tips to ensure your patients’ gardening is truly therapeutic. Also, consider these pre- and post-gardening stretches.
Apr 11, 2013| Mark Kats
Following the progress of Gaby Giffords on her path to recovery has been inspiring! The former Arizona congresswoman told CNN she spends her days doing occupational therapy and yoga, and she credits nurses and speech therapists with helping her every day. Read the full story here.
Texas PTs, patients, and advocates came together in support of direct access to physical therapy at a public hearing for HB 1039. Check out Allan Besselink's blog post for some background on this particular issue as well as next steps for those who would like to help support Texas PTs and patients.
Are you on Twitter? If so, do you get involved in Twitter chats for rehab therapy professionals? There is a great one for all PTs under the #SolvePT hashtag and an excellent chat for students under #DPTstudent. Additionally, throughout the month of April, check out the #OTmonth hashtag for all things occupational therapy.
Of course, these are just a few news stories making the rounds this week. You can also find us on Pinterest for useful infographics, marketing advice, and compliance resources.;
Apr 11, 2013| Charlotte Bohnett
Today's blog post comes from Senior Writers Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
It was 14 years ago when Brian Kunich launched his successful physical therapy career. After several years working in private practice, Brian discovered that while he was an excellent practitioner, as a clinic owner and manager he was at a serious disadvantage when it came to controlling clinic supply expenses. Because his priority—as it should be—was on treating his patients and growing his business, ordering clinical supplies became an after hours responsibility. Thus, time to shop around was at a premium.
Determined to help clinics simplify the buying process—and save money—Brian mapped out a plan for an eCommerce platform. And he knew the perfect company to work with in order to bring his plan to fruition—WebPT, the same company who developed and delivered the ultimate EMR and practice management solution for rehab therapists. In October, 2011, Brian (a WebPT Member) attended WebPT’s first user conference, Evolve. There, he spoke with friend, former colleague, and WebPT Co-Founder Heidi Jannenga.clinical supplies, eCommerce, physical therapy, PT best practices, PT products, shopping, WebPT marketplace
Apr 10, 2013| Charlotte Bohnett
We’ve all seen the commercials: the catchy music paired with a montage of all the awesome things you can do with an iPad. The iPad—and Apple, in general—is all about the “wow,” the cool factor. So why wouldn’t rehab therapists use it in their clinic? We sat down with two occupational therapy clinics and asked them to share their experiences using iPads in their practice.
Nick Roselli, OTR/L, CHT, of Nick Roselli Occupational Therapy in New York initially purchased laptops for his multiclinic practice. However, when he lost internet connectivity one day, Nick decided to use his iPad (with 3G internet connection) for that day’s patient visits and documentation. “I saw it was very user-friendly, and I could use it on the go as I visited my other clinics,” said Nick. In the case with Dynamic Rehab in Arizona, Tania Shearon, OTR/L, CHT, brought in her own iPad to use within the clinic, knowing that it would expedite her EMR documentation. “The iPad works awesome with my daily notes...much quicker,” Tania said.
In general, Tania says the iPad is portable, fast, and easy. Nick listed similar qualities when speaking about the iPad in his clinics, emphasizing the user-friendly aspect and the ability to create quick notes. While Nick admits he’d rather use his laptop, especially for notes loading greater amounts of data, he says the iPad is just so much more mobile. The zoom feature on iPads is also a plus, too.
Apr 9, 2013| Erica Cohen
Depending on where you live, your relationship with the sun may be anything from estranged to, well, in our case in Phoenix, quite smothering. But regardless of locale, we can all use a little help turning our love-hate relationship into something well, positive—environmentally and cash flow positive, that is. Here are some how-tos for harnessing the sun’s powers for good—as well as some other tips on things you can do in your practice to help conserve energy and thus, bring down your in-clinic costs while helping out Mother Earth.
First things first, get an energy audit. According to an article on Inc, most local utility companies offer businesses free on-site consultations on how they can reduce energy use. In case you missed the word free, i’ll repeat it now: free. Why not get an expert opinion on where you can improve your clinic’s conservational status and thus your costs? It certainly can’t hurt.
Apr 8, 2013| Charlotte Bohnett
We all know the deal: reuse, reduce, and recycle. And yet, as of 2009, the US was producing 251 million tons of trash each year. Only 53.4% of all paper products were recycled, while only 32.5% of total waste was recycled (stats from Sustainablog). So, yes, we know the deal, but are we doing all we can? Hopefully, your clinic recycles, and if it doesn’t, that’s my first tip: recycle and make sure you’re following your waste management service’s recycling rules.
Of course, there’s so much more that your clinic can do to help the environment than simply recycling. Here are four ways to go green in your clinic:
1.) Ditch the paper.
You might be thinking: “Of course, WebPT, an EMR, would say the first step is to ditch the paper.” But we speak the truth, and we’re not just talking about your SOAP notes. (Although going digital with your documentation is a monumental step in eliminating paper use and waste in your clinic.) The Green Business Bureau and Inc. gives these pointers:
- Encourage communications by email—not standard mail. Read email messages on screen rather than print.
- Save receipts, invoices, and other crucial documents as PDFs rather than printing. (With WebPT, check out eDoc.)
- Eliminate cover sheets and avoid faxing whenever possible. Also, fax directly from your computer (like you can with WebPT) to avoid printing a copy to fax.
- Produce double-sided documents whenever possible, use old letterhead for scratch paper, and reuse packaging materials for any items you might ship.
Apr 4, 2013| Mark Kats
A duck is helping to spread the word about the value of physical therapy in Aflac's latest ad campaign. We love the attention this funny commercial is getting, and having a spotlight on physical therapy is always great for marketing and branding our profession! If you haven't seen it, check out the TV spot right here.
April is Occupational Therapy Month. What an awesome opportunity to promote this great profession! We want to share with you a special message to all OTs from Alex Zarazua, WebPT’s Support Team Lead. For more on OT month, check out the American Occupational Therapy Association's website and follow #OTMonth on Twitter. Also, stay tuned to our blog as this month we’ll feature several posts specifically for OTs.
Finally, we’re super pumped to announce the launch of our new WebPT Marketplace, an eCommerce site exclusively for WebPT Members. Here, you can shop for the therapy products you need to run your practice—all for a fraction of retail price. Yup, on average, you’ll save 20%—on everything.
Of course, these are just a few news stories making the rounds this week. Connect with us on LinkedIn for all things rehab therapy-related.