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Physical Therapy Documentation: The Importance of Operational Analysis For Your Practice
Sometimes, more patients is not the answer, especially if the clinic is not sound from an operational and financial standpoint. To succeed as a practice, it’s important to work ‘smart’ and not just work ‘hard’, and enlisting your staff in your vision is a key component of the process.
In this article, Nitin Chhoda will teach how to improve your practice, operationally and financially by enlisting the help of your most valuable asset – your human capital.
Before you can step into the fray with staff and ask for a change of pace or even different physical therapy documentation procedures, a lot of operational analysis should be completed.
This involves reviewing reception staff efficiency as well as reception area capacity.
The physical therapists may be able to handle higher productivity, but without operational and financial analysis, you may be adding to the workload of other staff and decreasing productivity and efficiency in those realms.
Improving your bottom line should never get in the way of common sense when it comes to managing staff needs and expectations. Billing staff must also be evaluated and consulted about potential changes.
If you want physical therapy documentation and billing staff to be able to bill more frequently, maximize claim acceptance, minimize errors, and collect payment more often and at a faster rate, overwhelming them with additional work will not get the job done. What will an increase in weighted procedures mean for coding and billing?
Every physical therapy documentation and management professional who is considering implementing a physical therapy documentation software solution has plenty to think about.
From the cost of the EMR to the implementation of policies and procedures that will actually make the practice more efficient, the job of transitioning a physical therapy practice over to electronic medical records is not simple.
The Staff Can Help
The truth is that physical therapy documentation and management is often quick to take on too much when the staff really can be helpful.
In terms of operational analysis, it will be the staff that bears the burden of operational changes. So it follows that the staff should be part of the process to make those changes logical, effective, and realistic.
Before implementing a new physical therapy documentation solution, the staff should be prepared sufficiently for their new responsibilities. Every staff member will need training to be able to use any new software.
But they will also need to know that the software is meant to make their jobs easier in the long run. The only way you can ensure that the EMR works in this way is to find out what the staff thinks will make their jobs easier.
It may take a one-by-one approach to determine where your operations are sufficiently prepared and where changes need to be made.
The conversation you have with physical therapy documentation and billing staff will be very different from the way the reception staff feel about changing work modes.
Will the reception staff feel good about handing patients an iPad rather than a clipboard? If the task of filing and pulling files is taken out of the job, will they appreciate and use that extra time sufficiently? How many tablet computers do they need?
Even simple questions about the number of clipboards they have now and how often they use them all can give physical therapy documentation and management insights into how the day-to-day tasks in the practice can be better managed using physical therapy documentation software.
Operational analysis is the process of identifying just what you have and what you will need to make things work well with your new system.