Over the years of building and growing WebPT, one of the many important lessons I have learned is to take time to celebrate important milestones and even small wins. As doers, we tend to accomplish a goal and quickly move on to the next priority. But, the holidays are a perfect time to reflect on progress and learnings both on the personal and professional sides, and of course, a time to give thanks to those who have contributed to that growth.
Personally, I’ll always start with my family first. My daughter Ava is 12, in 7th grade, and navigating the puberty stage like a champ. My “bonus” twin daughters are freshmen in college and adjusting well to a more independent stage of their lives. My mom will turn 91 at the end of December and is still going strong; she’s excited to see my brother and his wife, who will have an extended stay here in Arizona from Chicago for the holidays. Lastly, I am grateful for my partner, Joe, and the happiness and love we share with each other.
I’m also extremely thankful for all of the WebPTers who have helped and continue to choose to help build WebPT over all of these years. In case you missed it, this year marks the 15th anniversary of WebPT—our ruby year—and like any milestone moment, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
Our journey isn’t that different from many practices.
In many ways, the growth of WebPT has mirrored the entrepreneurial journey that many practices go through as they grow and expand. Like many of your businesses, we began as a startup, motivated by our desire to help people like me who were stuck using documentation solutions that didn’t fit my clinic’s needs. And like in most startup clinics, everyone wore multiple hats of responsibility. Every month, decisions had to be made on the highest priorities and immediate needs of the business. At the time, the platform was narrowly focused and served a specific segment of the outpatient physical therapy market.
Eventually, with our product market fit, we grew our Member base and expanded our services offered within our platform. A business foundation, based on a set of core values and a strong sense of mission, was set in place. Soon after, we took the industry by storm from 2009 to 2011, as we were the first web-based application that was built from a therapist's perspective. In time, we faced the question that many practices have wrestled with, particularly over the past few years: should we stay the current course or look for outside investment to give the business the resources to accelerate our growth opportunity? Due to increased demand for our services and regulatory changes favorable to our business, we opted to take on funding partners, who sparked our growth, opened doors to resources, and helped make WebPT what it is today.
Acquisitions are another big part of the modern rehab therapy landscape, and we’ve been fortunate to add some incredible companies and teams into the WebPT family over the years. From Therabill to BMS Practice Solutions to Strive Labs, and most recently, Clinicient and Keet, we’ve always looked to scale in a way that allows us to provide more tools and greater value to our Members. It’s not dissimilar to what many rehab therapy practices have gone through in recent years on either the buyer or seller side of the transaction.
Our values were established from the beginning.
One of the most important things any practice can do early in its growth journey is establishing a clear vision and documenting the core values of the business. You’ve probably heard me talk about empowering rehab therapists to achieve greatness in practice countless times over the years, and with good reason—that mantra has served as our mission statement from the beginning, with every decision we’ve made since then done with that objective in mind.
Setting a bold mission for your business becomes something way bigger than the founders and requires a lot of help. Another key to our success has been finding the right people along our journey with the right skills and know-how that we needed. More than that, we found people whose values matched the values of the business and were willing to take on our mission as their own. As Peter Drucker has famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and getting the culture piece right is definitely something that I give a lot of credence to as part of our success. Maintaining that company culture as you grow and add more employees takes intentional effort and emphasis, and we pride ourselves on continuing that focus with every new hire, from the C-suite to an entry-level position.
We’ve worked to keep pace with changing clinic dynamics.
Being in the WebPT business for 15 years and a licensed physical therapist for 23 years means that I’ve seen a lot of change throughout the rehab therapy industry. When WebPT started, a web-based EMR designed specifically for PTs was a radical notion; now, specialty EMRs are the standard in healthcare as specialty providers require specific requirements that the large EHR companies don’t supply.
The digitization of our profession, and healthcare as a whole, has been driven by evolving regulatory requirements as well as patient demands. And, as providers’ needs have changed to keep pace with patient expectations, WebPT has continued to evolve as well. We’ve built features and integrated tools into our industry-leading documentation platform to help rehab therapists manage every aspect of a patient’s journey and help run their businesses. Technology may have changed the landscape of clinical care, but our narrow focus is still to maximize clinic value and support providers so that they can focus their time and energy where it belongs—with their patients.
The evolution of our product platform to support the vision is part of the rebranding and introduction of WebPT as a Practice Experience Management (PXM) company. At this point, digital solutions for patient intake, documentation, and billing are table stakes. In 2023, patients are looking for a convenient, holistic experience in healthcare and are pushing providers and healthcare organizations to have more efficient unified solutions. A robust integration of tool sets is the key to optimizing the practice and provider experience—which is exactly what we are doing at WebPT. You may have chosen us based on our reputation as an EMR documentation platform with exemplary service levels; today, there is so much more that is needed for your clinic or practice to be successful in this competitive market. WebPT is still the one that can deliver like no one else in the rehab therapy market.
We’re thankful for everyone who has come along for the ride.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t conclude by thanking each and every one of our WebPT Members who have made the choice to use our platform and engage with our WebPT community. We have called users of our software “Members” from the start because we believe that you all are part of something bigger than all of us and you are more than just another customer. We believe that a business must create value for and with all of its stakeholders, and our members have been with us every step of the way in helping to shape our current and future roadmap decisions.
I’ll be the first to admit that we haven’t always gotten it exactly right, nor has the road always been smooth and straight, but those challenges are part of the journey and certainly haven’t been for a lack of care or concern. We at WebPT haven’t forgotten our roots as a company focused on helping providers better treat patients, helping clinic owners run their businesses more efficiently, and helping to elevate the profession as the primary choice for MSK patient treatment and management.
We’re not done yet.
As I think about the journey WebPT has been on over these 15 years, I’m so proud of what we have accomplished and overwhelmingly thankful for the people who have been with us along the way. To this day, I have Member and employee relationships that span beyond the fifteen years we’ve been in business—and honestly, those relationships often feel more like family than business as we share about our kids, our businesses, and our profession. Things happen for a reason, and I am so grateful to have been on this incredible journey with so many wonderful, genuine, and driven people that will be part of my legacy.
As we look to a new PXM, I envision a future where every rehab therapist embraces technology as part of their practice and the profession rises to meet our potential as the MSK primary provider of choice—enabling all of us to practice at the top of our license and gain the respect in the healthcare industry that we earn. So, as we turn the page on 2023 and 15 years of helping rehab therapists achieve greatness in practice, let's look ahead to the next 15 and optimize the opportunities that await us. I’ll sign off by wishing you all happy holidays and saying that we look forward to serving our Members at the highest service levels and continuing our push to empower you to achieve greatness in practice.