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.”
May 11, 2012| Mike Mannheimer
In honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month, we’ve launched our new Speech Language Pathology Documentation Module developed with some seriously stellar input from our Speech-Language Pathologist Members. (Thanks, SLPs!)
This new module is available now for all Members. And it’s free.
- New entry fields in the Subjective section include:
- Oral-Motor Issues
- Vocal Quality
- Behavioral Issues
- Medical History: Cleft Palate, Tracheotomy, and Recurrent Pneumonia
- New entry fields in the Objective section include:
- P.O. Intake Evaluation Tests
- Stage of Swallowing Tests
- Language Expression
- Speech Intelligibility
- Evidence-based tests from the ASHA National Outcomes Measurement System
Are you a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist? Great news! We integrated the SLP Documentation Module with our existing Pediatrics Module so you can easily work within a combined SLP/Pediatrics Documentation Profile.
And while we were at it, we introduced improvements to WebPT Billing and made our Idea Portal even easier to use.
So take a moment, hop onto your WebPT, and peruse these enhancements. We’d love to hear what you think.
Got other ideas on how to make WebPT more awesome? Tell us! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org; submit a ticket by clicking "Help" in the application; or visit our Idea Portal.
- New entry fields in the Subjective section include:
May 9, 2012| Brad Jannenga
Because our focus for May is my forte—technology—I thought I’d take the writing reins for this month. I’m sure many of you know the story of WebPT; but for those of you who don’t, it all started back in the summer of 2006 when Heidi—who was running a large sport clinic here in Arizona—asked me to help her find an EMR system. At that time, I’d been in the software field for 15 years and had seen my fair share of products, so I agreed to give her a hand.
After seven or eight demos, I was dumbfounded. Maybe it was my outsider’s viewpoint, but with each demo I couldn’t help but think there had to be a better option out there. To top it off, the costs were ridiculous! Some of the quotes we received for her 10-therapist clinic reached into the 100K range after we factored in the servers, yearly re-licensing, support, and IT staff to keep it all running. It was at this point that I offered to build Heidi a “little App” for her clinic.
May 8, 2012| Lindsay Bayuk
Have you been captivated by the evolution of patient-centric health? The broader scope of eHealth, mHealth, and digital health (in its beginning stages) is exciting to watch. However, the concept of a truly “plugged in” healthcare system is far from reality. Still, groups like the Center for Connected Health are pushing the industry forward.
Pioneering founder, Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, and his center are driving the tech-enabled, patient-centric vision. Recently, Discovery.com featured Dr. Kvedar, along with the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, in a Health IT segment. There, he discussed advancements in remote patient monitoring that are critical to cost savings and more importantly, saving lives. The short web video highlights elderly patients who monitored their health daily with devices from home. Those daily stats are then automatically transmitted to an RN who looks for any warning signs and can quickly respond if necessary—high tech and user-friendly!
Similarly, GE Healthcare just got approval from the FDA to launch an app for radiologists to remotely review computed tomography and magnetic resonance on iPads. This use of mobile devices by doctors as well as remote monitoring of patients at home both show that “the line between consumer and enterprise devices continues to blur.”
May 3, 2012| Lindsay Bayuk
Thanks to Marissa for sharing this innovative use of technology for therapy with us today! Marissa A. Barrera, MS, MPhil, MSCS, TSHH, CCC-SLP is the owner of New York Neurogenic Speech-Language Pathology, P.C., a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Professor of Acquired Motor Speech & Swallowing Disorders. With private practices located in Midtown and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Marissa and her team of SLPs feel privileged to provide therapeutic services to hundreds of patients each year. A graduate of Columbia University, she has earned an MS, MPhil, and a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist certification (MSCS) while working towards her PhD in Neurolinguistics (language science). In short, Marissa is proud to be a part of the WebPT community and hopes to help you foster optimal speech and language development in your patients! www.nyneuroslp.com
In honor of this month in which Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) all over the country join together to spread the word of awareness, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you a way for you to grow your practice, help more individuals in need, all the while reducing your practice’s operation costs.
Living in a world where companies are no longer confined to conducting business within a local radius, globalization affords businesses the opportunity to work without boundaries. Although historically Speech-Language Pathologists have always treated their patients within an arm’s reach, in this modern, global market we now too have the opportunity to help patients well outside of our immediate geographic area.
To own a speech-language pathology private practice in the past meant you had to feverishly market yourself to local doctors, psychologists, social workers, PTs, OTs, schools and neighborhood families. In the event that there were multiple practices within close proximity, you had to work twice as hard just in order to maintain a presence in the local market. If the practice model I’ve just described sounds like YOUR current business, then perhaps it is time for you to branch out and consider providing web-based speech and language therapy. If you are tired of participating in the referral rat race, wanting to expand your revenue sources, and are genuinely interested in helping as many individuals as possible, I encourage you to take a moment to peruse the basic facts and some unique benefits to administering web-based therapy.
May 2, 2012| Lindsay Bayuk
We've seen that patients data privacy and liability are two top concerns for PTs as they relate to the adoption of cloud-based EMR systems. Typically there is concern about information getting “hacked” online. We’re here to tell you there’s no need to worry. Cloud computing can actually make your dreams come true.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has released a report on HIPAA violations last year. Michael Koploy from Software Advice shared this data with us and crunched some numbers:
- 6,800 paper records that were supposedly mailed but never received
- an impostor posing as a recycling-service employee stealing over 1,300 individuals’ records and films
- a laptop stolen by a former employee that contained personal health records of over 50,000 patients
As Michael concluded in his article “HHS Data Tells the True Story of HIPAA Violations in the Cloud,” hacking electronic records is not the major concern for “stealing” patient data. The real problem? Medical professionals losing their hard drives or lost paper records. Is inadvertently leaving your laptop in an unlocked car a potential risk? Sure. It’s more of a risk than someone hacking data hosted in the cloud. Patient data stored in a secure cloud environment is safer than paper records or even local devices.electronic medical records, emr in the cloud, HIPAA, technology for physical therapists, Web-Based EMR