Efficiency Gains From Automating Your PT Practice Management Documentation
It was not that long ago that a fully automated electronic medical record management system was something only very large healthcare institutions could afford. That meant that any medium- to small-sized physical therapy practice was left with the antiquated method of keeping track of patient and billing documentation using file folders, paper forms and rows and rows of file cabinets.
Thankfully, we are entering a time when PT specific practice management software services are becoming affordable and available to practices that do not operate a large mainframe to run their operations. In fact, because of the move away from centralized digital documentation management to web-based systems that can be accessed and utilized from any wireless device, the time when the computer power and need for expensive hardward that you need to support your practice may no longer be an issue.
There is no doubt that the greatest efficiency that automating your PT documentation system will yield is in the quality of care that you can offer to your patients. Using your wireless device to access the medical records of your patients unties you from physical paper files. You have accurate information anywhere you are. If you work at another clinic for a day, you can access your patients’ documentation just as well as you would in your own office. The danger of making mistakes due to a breakdown in the ability to access patient data is virtually eliminated entirely.
One of the biggest complaints physical therapy staff often register is that they want to be in this line of work to help people, but they end up becoming “paper shufflers.” Paper shuffling was a chronic syndrome of the era before automated physical therapy software. The efficiency of freeing your staff to perform more vital work for your practice is one of the top values of investing in digitizing patient records. PT centric documentation software can facilitate greater accuracy and sharing of information between anyone in the practice, thus increasing the value of your patient records database more than ever before.
Another angle on the efficiency automated PT practice documentation will give, as it pertains to your staff, is that it will help management get a better feel for the effectiveness and the level of mistakes that are made by individuals in your practice. Your PT practice management software will increase accountability because each staff member will use the system under their own user name and password. That means that you will have a digital trail for each patient record of who accessed that information and what changes were made and by who. This increases the level of security and helps you pin down a problem with a specific employee as well as highlight members of the staff who excel.
Automation of medical records is the wave of the future and is no longer limited to large medical practices. While the transition from a paper-based PT practice documentation management system to an digital one will require an investment of time, effort and finances, the outcome recognized by your practice will be increased efficiency on all levels. Your staff will become more accountable and productivity often improves. Your ability to manage your practice will become far more precise and efficient, which means greater profits for your operation. Finally, your patients will get better care because valuable physical therapist time is not being lost to paper shuffling. It is clear that switching to an automated PT practice documentation management system is a decision that will benefit everyone associated with your practice.