Practice Experience Podcast: Improving Care Coordination in Rehab Therapy 

In this episode, we discuss why care coordination matters and how every practice can optimize it for their needs.

Ryan Giebel
5 min read
August 23, 2023
Share this post:


Get the latest news and tips directly in your inbox by subscribing to our monthly newsletter

The bedrock of any successful practice experience will always be the patient’s experience. However, one vital facet of the patient experience that is often overlooked is care coordination. In fact, a recent survey found that Americans spend the equivalent of one eight-hour workday a month coordinating their own health care (or that of a loved one), and that time spent negatively impacted their opinion of the patient experience. In an era where so many new technologies exist to improve the patient experience and patient outcomes, coordination of care is a logical cog in the wheel of high-quality health care.  

In this episode of The Practice Experience Podcast, WebPT Product Marketing Manager, Liz Heckmuller, PT, DPT, sits down with the VP of Rehab at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), Jaime Edelstein, PT, DSCPT, OCS, COMT, to discuss what coordination of care means for rehab therapy and how best to optimize it in your practice. 

Using their combined 30 years of PT experience, Liz and Jaime tackle subjects like: 

Episode Highlights

On Growing Professionally

Jaime: I spent the first 19 years of my career focused on developing myself to be the best clinician that I can be. In that journey, I discovered that I love teaching, mentoring, and watching others grow in their professional journey in physical therapy. So in 2007, I began working closely with my colleague Pete Drench to develop the rehab arm of the HSS Hip Preservation Center. We felt a responsibility to ensure that we share information with clinicians who were willing to learn.

On Where Care Coordination Begins

Jaime: The patient must always be at the epicenter of communication. We encourage and teach our providers to leverage the patient journey as an opportunity to connect with the provider and their team. That could be the physician, the PA, or it can be the office administrative staff. If there's an issue or a concern regarding the patient’s care, that physician and their staff will remember that clinician and seek them out in the future.

On Technology in Care Coordination

Jaime: Not every hospital has one EMR for both inpatient acute care as well as in outpatient regional locations, but HSS operates on one EMR across all service lines. That's a big win because it enables secure messaging for all HSS providers to grant seamless integration and a visual into the patient's full chart and notes from other providers.

On Communication Preferences

Jaime: Care coordination cycles back to communication and respectfully understanding how that counterpart on the care team prefers to be contacted. That could be email, secure text, or even a quick phone call. We have physicians that literally say, “We're all busy. Here's my cell number. If you have a quick update, call me.” Technology's great, but we must account for the personal preferences of the individual provider. And that comes from getting to know them, understanding levels of communication, and taking time to build a relationship.

On Embracing Care Coordination

Jaime: What I have seen in my 23 years is that generally speaking, physical therapy providers are not always the best self-promoters or entrepreneurs. We are great healthcare providers, but we're not great in the realm of promoting our services. If we shift the focus to the patient, a lot of the stress is taken off of the PT. At HSS, we begin having discussions around creating channels of communication during our providers’ onboarding and keep it up through their mentoring experience while they're in the clinic. 

On Breaking Misconceptions

Jaime: The perception of a hierarchy [among healthcare providers] is a perception that we need to break through. I've been doing this for a long time and I certainly feel I have the experience—which has allowed me to settle into a level of confidence in my abilities—to speak with other healthcare providers. With a perception of a hierarchy, we need to remember we're just people. We are people and humans looking to care for other humans within healthcare. 

Listen and subscribe to The Practice Experience Podcast:

[Apple Podcasts]        [Spotify]        [Google Podcasts]        [RSS]


KLAS award logo for 2024 Best-in-KLAS Outpatient Therapy/Rehab
Best in KLAS  2024
G2 rating official logo
Leader Spring 2024
Capterra logo
Most Loved Workplace 2023
TrustRadius logo
Most Loved 2024
Join the PXM revolution!

Learn how WebPT’s PXM platform can catapult your practice to new heights.

Get Started
two patients holding a physical therapist on their shoulders