You no doubt have a statement of purpose or mission statement that you put together when you started your own PT practice. This kind of statement is valuable to keep you focused on the mission of your organization. Without a doubt, the primary mission of your practice is to be of service to your patients, to provide relief for their pain and suffering and to promote wellness.
There is a secondary mission statement that may not rank as high in your objectives, but it is just as crucial as the first one. In fact, this second statement of purpose must be a part of how you operate your PT practice and it must be successful or you will never be able to provide the quality of care you strive for. That secondary goal of any working PT practice is to become financially viable and to make money.
There are three facets of how you operate your business in order for you to reach that second goal. The first one is obvious. You have to have a vibrant practice with a strong client base so your income is good. The second part of the business that must be in place is a working billing system. Since much of your actual revenue will come from insurance or government programs, the handling of those forms and follow through on those processes is a must. The third element that often gets overlooked is operating a cost-effective practice.
Keeping costs under control is a must. Many good PT practices have fallenl on hard times not because they could not serve their patients well but because they did not control the costs of operation. Of the many aspects of costs, the overhead of handling patient records is one of the biggest areas that can spin out of control. That is why automating this process is a perfect way to get those costs in line and to keep them there. This automation process offers your practice numerous efficiencies that can profoundly reduce the headaches of documentation management so you can focus on job #1, taking care of your patients.
Putting your patient documentation into an automated system gives you efficiencies of integration that were unheard of before we had the kinds of sophisticated systems that are common today. Integration simply means that once you put your PT practice documentation into an automated system, it will be useful in a wide variety of ways without duplication of effort. When you add a new patient to the system, that data that is collected initially can be used by the therapist during consultation, to complete billing or prescription forms and many other functions as well.
Documentation gathered over time becomes part of the patient database which is useful for anyone who wishes to consult that documentation. The cost savings of entering this information once and using it many times are tremendous. Further savings are realized because any mistakes that are corrected once, are corrected in every application and form that the system supports.
The ways that PT practice documentation will help you get costs under control are quite diverse. An integrated and networked documentation system will streamline patient scheduling, reducing mistakes or lost appointments. The software should allow you to create ad hoc reports on the fly using the body of patient information that you already have on hand. Your automated documentation system can also make sure you keep your practice ready for the next PT practice audit. No longer will you have “fire drills” to get ready for such necessary audits because you know that you are in compliance and ready to go because your automated documentation management software keeps things in order.
The move toward an automated PT documentation management system can be one of the most effective cost-control steps you will take. Not only does it introduce efficiencies that cut costs, it can increase revenues through more effective management of billing and collections. In many offices, the net result in increased revenue to the practice went up as much as 45% once the PT documentation system was in place. It does not take long to pay off even the most elaborate automation solution at that rate.