We’ve all seen catchy music paired with a montage of all the awesome things you can do with an iPad. The iPad—and Apple, in general—is all about the wow factor. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has also released a pretty spiffy tablet called Surface, with tons of entertaining marketing to boot. Then there’s all the techy Android tablets, like the new Yoga and the Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab, as well as the Kindle Fire.
From vibrating posture sensors, gait-correcting insoles, and pressure-sensing socks to popular movement tracking devices like Fitbit, video game systems designed to make therapy more fun, and helmet sensors that alert athletes and medical professionals of potential concussion-causing hits, there have been a number of exciting advancements and trends in PT technology. These innovations offer new opportunities for improved diagnosis, treatment, and patient engagement.
Oh, Internet, where would we be without you? Probably here, actually. The world has changed dramatically since the dawn of the World Wide Web (seriously, some of us probably don’t even remember what we did in the time of B.B: Before Browsing), and the PT clinic is no exception. EMR usurped paper, servers gave way to the cloud, and the desktop computer has fallen to the smaller and more powerful laptop—and in some cases, the even smaller iPad. But good things come in small packages—and the app-le doesn’t fall far from the technology tree (terrible puns; awesome resources). Thanks to apps, the iPad is a much richer tool than you may realize.
So, you survived Black Friday—and maybe even scored a sweet deal or two—but you’ve still got quite a few names left on your holiday shopping list. If one of them happens to be a physical therapist (or if you’re a PT looking for a cool gift to give to yourself)—and you’re racking your brain for gift ideas—then you’re in luck. Below, I’ve listed our top ten gift ideas for physical therapists. (Sorry, you’ll have to handle shopping for Great Aunt Miriam on your own.)
Last year, I wrote a blog post on the ideal WebPT setup. In that post, I discussed what technologies—like browsers, hardware, and routers—we recommend to optimize WebPT. Of course, technology changes almost daily, so I thought I’d revisit and update our recommendations. In general, our application works great with just about any setup, but the following suggestions will help you create the most ideal WebPT experience.
As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve dedicated a sizeable portion of this month’s blog space to helping you and your clinic conserve resources and become more environmentally conscious. But let’s not forget about the most important resource of all—your time! You might assume that you need a major systematic overhaul to improve work efficiency in your clinic. Not so. In this case, small investments pay big dividends. Here are some quick tips to help you get the most out of every minute:
Today’s blog post comes from Jeremy Legaspi, a speech language pathologist at UPWARD in Phoenix, Arizona. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @AZspeechguy or visit azspeechguy.wordpress.com.
As a pediatric SLP, I’m always looking for new ways to interact with my patients and incorporate fun into my treatment plans. The iPad is awesome because I can use it for documentation and office purposes as well as for treatment. As a big iPad fan, I have about 500 apps. Here are the top five applications I use most frequently with my pediatric patients.
1.) Custom Boards
One of About.com’s “Best App for Special Needs of 2012,” Custom Boards Premium is an evidence-based app that allows you to use or create activity boards for children needing symbols to communicate and learn. Boasting over 11,000 built-in symbols from the Smarty Symbols library as well as the ability to add your own photos, Custom Boards allows you to select from a pool of templates in six areas: Devices & Switches, Grids & Boards, Schedules, Activities, Signs, and Labels & Worksheets.
Last week, we tackled the topic of Internet connections. In that post, I noted that many of our Members found that WebPT works best via a cable connection. That got me thinking: what about browsers, hardware, routers, and all that other tech gear that makes your clinic run?
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one wondering these things. Frequently, our Members ask us what technologies we recommend to optimize WebPT. While our software works great with just about any setup, there are some steps you can take to create the most ideal WebPT experience.
We recommend Cable or DSL Internet with a connection speed of at least 1 Mbps (megabits per second) upload and 10 Mbps download. If your clinic uses QuickScan and/or eDoc, you’ll benefit from a faster upload speed.
Pretty much any current wireless router will work great with WebPT. However, many therapists have said that the Linksys E3000 and Asus RT-N16 router models work well. Just make sure that the quality of your router is in in proportion to your clinic’s router workload; (the more Internet users, the better the router you’ll need).
While looking at an EMR for your clinic, it can be hard to understand what will work for you and what won’t. To add to it, the messages in the industry seem a bit mixed and muddled.
On any given day, you may read an article outlining all of the reasons why EMR adoption is slow and difficult for a non-technical staff. A number of reasons fault the user and not the software.
The next day, you may read an article that shows 25% of clinicians use a Smartphone and a tablet in their day-to-day documentation and patient management.
We have a hard time believing that the same clinicians who are having trouble moving their documentation to the cloud are the same ones who use iPads and Smartphones on a daily basis. While every clinic needs to asses the right technology for their practice, it is up to the providers to know and understand the needs of the therapist. This is not a new idea. Successful businesses listen to their customers and provide a product that solves their problems. By that same token, it is through asking key questions of your EMR provider about thier philosophy and business that can help you to understand who you’re dealing with.
Top 15 Questions to ask your EMR provider
When reviewing EMR providers, you’ll want to ask key questions to understand the quality of the product and the security of your data:
Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar last week on “iPad use for the Physical Therapists.” For those of you who couldn’t attend the webinar, we will be posting a recorded version of the presentation on our website in the near future. Each of the sessions we hosted for the webinar ended with a 15 minute Q&A period. This gave us at WebPT some valuable insight into the concerns of the modern physical therapy clinic.
We will use this space here to address any questions that may not have been answered in our iPad webinar presentation. We encourage you to ask additional questions in the comments of this post, so we may add them to this list.
Frequently Asked Questions About the iPad
How can I print from the iPad?The new iPad operating system has enabled the ability to wirelessly print. You will have to use the Apple ‘Share’ Icon to use this feature. The final option in the dropdown menu that appears should be print. See if your printer is ‘Airprint’ capable here.
Do I have to install extra security measures to use the iPad in the healthcare situations?
WebPT is an encrypted application that has built in security measures. The iPad will not undermine any of the security features we have in place. I would suggest setting up a password protected wireless network as well as a password lock on the iPad itself.
Does Dragon Voice Recognition Software work with the iPad?
Nuance Communication has created an iPad app for the Dragon Naturally Speaking Software. Our members who use it gave us some good feedback on its efficiency in healthcare applications. Follow this link to learn more about Dragon software.
Thinking about getting an Apple iPad to do your documentation in the clinic? There are a few important things to consider before investing your hard earned money in an iPad, especially with clinical use in mind. We all know that the iPad does not come cheap, so to prevent any buyer’s remorse we have created this buying guide to make sure you get the iPad that is right for you in the clinic. Following this guide will get you up and running with the best iPad possible in no time.
How Much Memory to Buy?
Many consumers get confused by the three memory sizes available that Apple currently offers. This refer to the storage space that comes with each model: 16GB, a 32GB, and 64GB memory. The iPad was made to store photos and music and these size differences refer to that functionality. Unless you are saving thousands of PDFs, you could potentially get away with the 16GB of storage space. If you use a web-based EMR, like WebPT, then you need not pay the $100 upgrade for more storage, because most, if not all, of your business files will be stored on WebPT servers.
Wi-Fi or 3G Internet?
The biggest dilemma for most is whether or not you want the Wi-Fi enabled or the 3G version of the iPad. This is really going to depend on where you are going to be using your iPad the most. If your clinic has secure Wi-Fi and that is the only location that you will be utilizing the iPad, then the Wi-Fi only version is perfect. If your clinic is currently hardwired to the internet, you can easily ask your network administrator to set up a wireless router for use with iPad.