It’s no secret: technology is revolutionizing the way rehab therapy providers deliver care to their patients. With things like EMR and RCM software becoming mainstays in therapy practices, providers are spending less time documenting and more time treating. It should go without saying that this development has also benefited patients. From intake to discharge, technology can help cultivate meaningful patient experiences—and there’s a whole lotta data out there to prove it. As noted in this article from the WebPT Blog, “a 2011 white paper from The Beryl Institute revealed that hospitals using interactive technology showed a 10% increase in general satisfaction.”

So, why should providers put so much focus on catering to—and satisfying—the patient-consumer? Well, happy patients mean higher retention rates, and higher retention rates mean more consistent revenue—a key ingredient to your practice’s long-term success. The good news is you can immediately start leveraging the technology tools you’re probably already using every day. Here’s how:

The State of Rehab Therapy in 2019 Guide - Regular BannerThe State of Rehab Therapy in 2019 Guide - Small Banner

1. Get a head start on intake.

Send an email.

Like most rehab therapists, you probably don’t look forward to paperwork. But if you use an EMR, you’re already familiar with the benefits of technology that streamlines your documentation process. And if your documentation platform includes a patient intake tool, your patients can reap those benefits, too.

Picture this: your patient signs in at the front desk, and instead of spending the next 15 minutes filling out paperwork, he or she gets to enjoy a cup of coffee and chat with your front office staff. And because your staff already has the patient’s information on file, you have time to prepare for the appointment in advance—which means the patient can get started quicker. With a patient intake tool that’s integrated directly with your EMR software, this picture is a reality.

And let’s not forget about patient-reported outcomes. You already know that PROMs are valuable to you as a provider, but they can be just as valuable to your patients as well. After all, these tests allow patients to truly weigh and evaluate their own level of function, which helps them take control of their experience. And, as with patient intake information, your office can collect PROM scores via email before the patient ever steps foot in your clinic. This not only cuts down on the patient’s in-office paperwork, but also allows you to prepare to discuss—and incorporate—the patient’s outcomes scores in advance.

Set up a kiosk.

Email isn’t the only means of streamlining your practice’s intake process. And if you work with a largely geriatric client base that isn’t super tech-savvy, you might want an alternative—although it may surprise you to know how many senior citizens are logging on these days (88% according to the Pew Research Center). Fortunately, some EMR systems provide a kiosk option for both patient intake forms and outcomes reporting. This allows users to load up questionnaires and forms on an in-office tablet or computer that patients can use to fill their information quickly and seamlessly.

2. Send documents through a secure, HIPAA-compliant patient portal.

PROMs and patient intake forms aside, there are other ways to boost patient trust and engagement through secure data-sharing. HIPAA has given patients the right to obtain copies their own medical records, and many savvy, health-focused patient consumers will do just that. But there’s a better way to provide patients with sensitive medical documentation than simply handing over hard copies: the patient document portal. According to this infographic from HIMSS, “Facilitating ongoing communication between patients and physicians via apps and online portals can improve engagement rates by 60% or higher.” With online document portals, patients can easily receive documents from their provider and safely store them on their computers. No more filing away stacks of documents from the therapist’s office, or worse—losing track of sensitive PHI.

3. Automate patient appointment reminders.

We’ve written about the effectiveness of appointment reminders in the past, and it’s easy to understand why they work so well. Automated phone, text, and email appointment reminders provide a convenient way to keep patients on track for their upcoming visits, and they’re far more effective than handwritten reminder cards. Don’t get me wrong, reminder cards are a nice touch, but there’s always a chance they’ll get stashed away in a coat pocket or tossed into the trash.

4. Engage patients with an interactive home exercise program (HEP).

It can be tough for patients to remember exactly how to do every single home exercise, and while they can always call your office for a refresher, there’s a chance you’ll be with another patient. And if it’s after-hours, you might be on your couch with slippers and a good book. Why subject your patients to a frustrating game of phone tag when you can instead provide them with an interactive home exercise program that they can access 24 hours a day? Computer-based programs are not only convenient, but also engaging, as they typically allow patients to view videos of each exercise (because 2D images are so ten years ago). And the more convenient it is for your patients to remain compliant with their home exercise programs, the more likely they are to do so.

5. Email patient satisfaction surveys.

Much like patient-reported outcomes, patient satisfaction and NPS surveys can tell you a lot about how you and your staff measure up. And with more and more payers using pay-per-performance payment models, keeping your patients happy and healthy can have a direct impact on your bottom line. But these surveys aren’t just for your benefit. When your practice measures patient happiness and success, patient experience becomes a priority. And that leads to happier, healthier patients.

While you could provide patients with in-office surveys that include satisfaction questions, doing so may skew their responses. Alternatively, emailing surveys affords patients a degree anonymity, which often yields more honest responses. Additionally, this method of survey distribution allows the patient to complete the questionnaire on his or her own time instead of rushing through it before heading back to the office, school, or home. If you—or your front office staff—are too swamped to consistently send out electronic surveys manually, consider adopting a patient relationship management software like WebPT Reach, which allows you to automate the delivery of patient-facing communications, including surveys.

6. Keep in touch online.

A patient’s experience doesn’t stop when he or she leaves your care. And if it does, then you’re missing out on a serious opportunity to increase engagement and win patient loyalty. Whether you use a patient engagement platform, release a monthly newsletter to a patient email list, or encourage your patients to follow your clinic on social media, staying in touch with patients after discharge not only keeps you informed on their continued progress, but also reminds the patient to come back to you should he or she ever require additional therapy services.


If you’re ready to get serious about boosting your patients’ satisfaction, then it’s time to consider whether your clinic’s current technology is up to the challenge. When you prioritize the patient experience, other facets of your business evolve in step. Whether it enhances the experience at the front desk or keeps patients engaged after discharge, technology can help improve your patients’ views on not only you—but also the entire rehab therapy profession.

  • Reactivate Now! How to Get Past Patients to Come Back Image

    articleJan 17, 2019 | 7 min. read

    Reactivate Now! How to Get Past Patients to Come Back

    Goodbyes shouldn’t be permanent—especially when it comes to discharging patients. In fact, should those patients ever need to return to therapy, your practice should be the go-to for all their PT needs. That’s why it’s crucial to integrate a patient reactivation plan into your overall healthcare marketing strategy. What is patient reactivation? But, first things first: what do we mean when we talk about patient reactivation—and why is it important? In a nutshell, patient reactivation refers to …

  • Retention, Please: Why Patient Dropout is Killing Rehab Therapy Practices— and How to Stop It Image

    downloadApr 24, 2018

    Retention, Please: Why Patient Dropout is Killing Rehab Therapy Practices— and How to Stop It

    Patient health is the top priority for most rehab therapists—specifically, getting patients back to a level of health that allows them to do what they love. But, when patients say “sayonara” before they reach their therapy goals, they lose the opportunity to live their fullest lives. To make matters worse, the average rehab therapy practice will lose $150,000 annually due to patient dropout alone. Talk about a one-two punch to the gut. Here at WebPT, we believe …

  • 6 Digital Marketing Mistakes that Will Destroy Your Practice Image

    articleJul 3, 2017 | 9 min. read

    6 Digital Marketing Mistakes that Will Destroy Your Practice

    In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to run a successful business without using some form of digital marketing. And yet, as of 2017 nearly a third of small business owners admit to not having a company website. If you’re shocked by that statistic, it’s for good reason. With more and more people turning to the web to find providers and medical advice, rehab therapy practices can’t afford not to hop on the digital marketing bandwagon. …

  • Founder Letter: 3 Ways to Become a Better PT, OT, or SLP in 2019 Image

    articleJan 8, 2019 | 11 min. read

    Founder Letter: 3 Ways to Become a Better PT, OT, or SLP in 2019

    It’s official; we’ve closed out 2018 and are stepping into a brand-new year. While I don’t recommend saving up those important intentions and resolutions for the kick-off of a new year, it does represent a potent time to release the things that no longer serve us—and embrace more of what does. In the past, I’ve used this occasion to put out some predictions for the year to come—and I’ve done that again here —but right now, I’d …

  • Founder Letter: Top 4 Trends for PTs, OTs, and SLPs in 2018 Image

    articleJan 3, 2018 | 10 min. read

    Founder Letter: Top 4 Trends for PTs, OTs, and SLPs in 2018

    It’s become an annual tradition of mine to look ahead to the new year and forecast the trends that are most likely to impact the rehab therapy industry. While I don’t have a crystal ball—what would be the fun in that?—I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting what’s on our horizon. (You can check out my 2017 post here and my 2016 one here .) There’s nothing on my list for this year that should come as a …

  • Common Questions from Our Physical Therapy Patient Retention Webinar Image

    articleMar 28, 2018 | 12 min. read

    Common Questions from Our Physical Therapy Patient Retention Webinar

    Strive Labs co-founders Ryan Klepps and Scott Hebert recently joined WebPT president Heidi Jannenga for an insightful webinar about improving patient retention and reducing early patient drop-out. We know this is a super-relevant topic, especially because the cost of diminishing patient visits represents a $6 billion problem that not many people in the industry are talking about—at least not yet. As a result, we received a slew of great questions that we couldn’t get to live on …

  • FAQ: The Data-Driven Practice: 10 Stats to Track in Your Therapy Organization Image

    articleFeb 8, 2019 | 18 min. read

    FAQ: The Data-Driven Practice: 10 Stats to Track in Your Therapy Organization

    Earlier this week, WebPT President and Co-Founder Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DT, ATC, teamed up with WebPT Vice President of Innovation and Product Management, Russell Olsen, to discuss the ten trackable metrics that can help you turbo-boost your practice past the competition. They tackled as many audience questions as they could during the post-webinar Q&A, but there just wasn’t enough time to get to all of them. So, we’ve compiled—and answered—the most frequently asked ones and posted …

  • 5 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2015 Image

    articleApr 28, 2015 | 4 min. read

    5 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2015

    Have you heard? Ascend— the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists —is back. Last year, the inaugural event took Dallas—or at least, Dallas physical therapists and private practice owners—by storm for one jam-packed day . This year, Ascend is upping the ante—big time. For starters, our 2015 event will run for two days instead of one—and trust us, you don’t want to miss it. Here are five reasons you should attend Ascend 2015: 1. You’ll earn CEUs. …

  • Knock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue Image

    webinarFeb 12, 2018

    Knock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue

    In one corner, we have a highly skilled rehab therapy provider known for delivering amazing clinical outcomes through noninvasive, movement-based treatment. And in the other corner, we have a discouraged, disengaged patient whose quality of life has taken a major hit due to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. [video://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/d11isduky2]   If you’re a rehab therapy provider, you’ve probably seen this battle play out more times than you can count—and we’re betting that more often than not, your therapy …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.