After retiring from the NFL and coaching football at the University of Virginia, Joel Makovicka—three-time national champion and All-American for the Nebraska Cornhuskers—returned to his home state of Nebraska, graduated from Creighton University with his doctorate in physical therapy, and set out to follow in his father’s footsteps by opening his own physical therapy practice. While at Creighton, Makovicka met fellow PT Natalie Harms, and together they opened their first outpatient physical therapy clinic in Omaha in July 2009. Since then, Makovicka Physical Therapy has expanded to 11 clinic locations—and nearly 100 employees—across Omaha and Lincoln.
In less than a decade, Makovicka Physical Therapy has experienced rapid growth. And despite the fact that the organization—as well as its Chief Operating Officer, Josh Richling—prioritized the patient experience and believed it to be an important metric for success, the company’s prior patient satisfaction tracking methods proved difficult, time-consuming, and less-than-valuable in terms of the information the team was able to collect. So, Richling decided it was time for the organization to invest in a scalable solution that better measured—and monitored—the patient experience. Chief Compliance Officer Dan McCutchen agreed, believing this was an opportunity for the organization to improve and refine patients’ overall experience: “Our biggest challenges centered around tracking patients, outcomes, and clinicians,” he said. “We needed a better way to examine our course of care and patient experience.”
The Makovicka team was specifically looking for a patient relationship management (PRM) solution that would:
- integrate with their current EMR (WebPT),
- be easy to use, and
- help generate actionable feedback from patients.
They found all of that—and more—in WebPT Reach.
After meeting Reach co-creators Scott Hebert and Ryan Klepps at the APTA’s Private Practice Section Conference, the leadership team at Makovicka Physical Therapy felt confident in their decision to adopt the PRM platform. McCutchen was pleased that Reach would fit right into his company’s existing workflow without putting any additional burden on his team. In fact, the software actually improved operational efficiency: “We felt comfortable with the product and felt the ease-of-use was beneficial,” he said. “We wanted to avoid a product that added more time to an already busy schedule.”
And the process to implement Reach was painless. According to Richling, “Reach required very little in terms of input from Makovicka to get started, and training was an hour once a week for four weeks.” Because Makovicka already used WebPT, the integration was seamless (although WebPT Reach does offer two EMR-agnostic versions).
As clinicians, we are in tune with body mechanics, mechanisms of injury, and treatment strategies, but we’re rarely able to look behind the curtain of a patient’s perception of his or her experience. WebPT Reach gave Makovicka Physical Therapy a reliable, easy-to-use method for ensuring our perception of quality matches that of our clients.
With Reach, Makovicka Physical Therapy was able to automate Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) tracking—a reliable, widely-used methodology for measuring customer loyalty—as well as set up automatic emails to request online reviews from its most loyal patients. In the first 10 months, the automated NPS emails returned more than 1,400 completed surveys and 90 local reviews. NPS tracking also helped the Makovicka team identify patients who were already pleased with the care they were receiving—and were thus more likely to come back again or refer a friend—as well as pinpoint patients who needed some additional attention.
Tracking this type of patient feedback early and often helped Makovicka PT improve its operations: “Reach has allowed us to be more proactive in rectifying any issues with a patient’s experience,” McCutchen said. “The immediate responses have allowed us to tweak the initial stages of a patient visit and make necessary clinical changes to avoid misunderstandings. We have seen decreased attrition in patient cases, and it has also allowed us to re-engage with former patients.”
The Makovicka team also uses Reach to automatically send emails to current and past patients based on different parameters in order to enhance engagement and improve revenue. As a result of sending automated reactivation emails through Reach, Makovicka was able to reactivate 67 past patients—an estimated $32,940 in added revenue. And by sending ongoing outreach emails throughout the treatment plan, Makovicka PT increased its average visits per case by 1.78 visits, thereby increasing retention and compliance as well as adding $257,103 in additional revenue opportunities (an 8.77% increase in overall revenue potential). “We decreased the number of patients who stopped care after one to four visits, and we have, on average, lengthened care by more than one visit per episode of care,” McCutchen said. “This leads to more revenue as well as increased patient satisfaction.”
Overall, after implementing Reach, the Makovicka team was able to achieve an ROI of 63.45x within the first 10 months of using the product.