Today’s blog post comes from copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
Earlier this week we tackled four reasons your practice should ditch paper documentation and go digital with Electronic Medical Records (EMR). At this point, you've either already made the switch or you’ve probably at least made up your mind to go digital soon. No matter what stage you’re in, we all know that EMR is an investment, and you might be wondering how to get the most bang for your buck.
Remember, EMR isn't just for documentation. It can help you manage and grow your clinic. How, you ask?
Some EMRs feature referral reports. When entering patients, you can include whether they were referred by a physician and if so, who. Then, you can use the referral report to easily track how many referrals you're receiving from entered physicians. It's a convenient way to identify who needs more networking attention and who needs a big "thank you!"
You can also integrate your logo into digital documents, like physician notes. Logo’d notes put your brand right in front of your biggest referral source. Subtle, yes, but effective.
With EMR, you can also attain valuable metrics on your patients; for instance, reporting on “lost” patients allows you to view inactive patients. Some EMRs also offer “productivity” reporting, which enables you to track patient cancellations and no-shows as well as some other nifty metrics (see next section). Both lost patient and productivity reports empower you to follow-up with patients more frequently and in an organized manner.
Here are a few more patient management tools available on some of the most widely used EMR software: Appointment reminders—email, text, and phone—cut down patient no-shows, and integrated home exercise programs, complete with supporting photos and videos, help you aid your patients in meeting their goals.
Your EMR can also help you manage other therapists or your own performance. Cue the productivity report again! Productivity reporting shows you how many patients each therapist in your clinic has seen as well as the types of documents they created. And missed notes reporting keeps tabs on incomplete or missing documentation. Both of these reports increase accountability—for yourself and for your team.
To keep your clinic profitable, it's crucial to have timely reimbursements. The best way to improve reimbursements—besides creating defensible documentation—is to submit clean claims. Some EMRs (like WebPT) offer either their own integrated billing service or have certified billing partners. Both routes eliminate double entry of demographic patient information or billing codes and allow for seamless transferring of information.
EMR means no more pen and paper for you as a therapist and your front office. The scheduling tool automatically links your patient records with your clinic's calendar. In addition to appointment reminders, the scheduling tool enables you to:
- track cancellations and no-shows
- easily book or reschedule appointments
- manage multiple therapists' schedules
- view the schedules of your other clinics (if applicable)
- collect patient copays and generate receipts
Woo-hoo for no double booking or task duplication! (If you're not saying "woo-hoo," trust us, your front office staff will!)
Free Up Space
File cabinets and in-house data servers can really hamper the feng shui of your clinic. With a cloud-based EMR, you can free up a lot of space. There's no tabbed manila folders, IT staff, or "server rooms" involved. All that means less stress (and more room to host your spooky costume-themed Halloween party).
Ditch the pen and paper, and then take your EMR far beyond documentation; really put it to work for your clinic. This way, you can get back to what really matters—your patients.