Practice Management Blog

Top EMR Features for Physical Therapists

There has been industry-wide uptake in the use of EMR software, which puts physical therapists, as well as other health professionals, in a position to serve more patients and provide a higher quality of care.

But not all EMR software options are created equal, and making the right software choice, when there are so many options and you’re stretched for time, can mean that it’s hard to make a decision.

We’ve gone ahead and done the heavy lifting for you so that you know what EMR features will add the most value to your physical therapy practice, from document handling to improving data security.

What is EMR in Physical Therapy?

If you’re new to the concept of EMR software, here’s some background for you. “EMR” refers to Electronic Medical Records. With the use of EMR software, healthcare practitioners find it much easier to gather, monitor, and access electronic health records for their patients.

There are many benefits to using EMR software, the chief of which is the ability to save hours of admin time that used to go into cumbersome manual note-taking and tracking of patient progress. If you think about it, you may find that you spend almost half your time on record-keeping and other patient admin! But, with EMR software, you can cut down this time significantly.

So which features should be considered non-negotiable when choosing EMR software?

For starters, find practice management software that includes electronic medical record-keeping to eliminate the time it takes to transfer data between systems manually. It can also help you minimise cancellations and no-shows and automate the acceptance of patient payments.

Let’s look at some of these (and other) features in more detail.

1. Efficient Documentation

Keeping up with patient notes and charts probably isn’t your favourite part of the day. But when it’s not done efficiently, patient record-keeping can become a headache. You may be familiar with the experience of trying to get ahead during your lunch break or after hours, which means you don’t catch a breather during the day, and your personal time has to be sacrificed.

With EMR software, manual note-taking becomes a thing of the past – no more filing of hand-written notes and finding storage space for loads of paperwork. Instead, the availability of electronic body charting and note-taking helps you reduce admin time in a few different ways.

Power Diary provides an extensive list of note-taking templates and forms you can configure to your liking. Or, if you need more than the pre-existing templates, you can create your own from scratch. Preparing note templates with your desired annotation charts, checklists, and questions with drop-down menus for quick answer selection speeds up note-taking so you can do it during your session with a patient without causing disruption. It’s especially easy when you use a tablet because it’s light and portable, and you can take it along wherever you’re meeting a patient.

That said, sometimes, PTs see multiple patients in one-time slot. In such cases, note-taking during a session may not be possible. If this is a regular occurrence for you, Power Diary’s handy rostering features let you block out time on your calendar to catch up on your admin at regular intervals.

2. Reduce Late Cancellations and No-Shows

Late cancellations and no-shows are very costly. They upset practice schedules and, when left unchecked, can significantly influence a physical therapist’s job satisfaction (and your bottom line). These are concerns for all healthcare practitioners, so managing late cancellations and no-shows proactively is crucial to the success of private practice.

With Power Diary, you can set up automated SMS and email reminders to patients to help ensure they don’t forget about an appointment. The Client Portal also allows patients to book and manage existing appointments online, which means that:

  • Patients can go online whenever it suits them (including after hours) and book available slots on your schedule.
  • You (or a team member) can spend much less time managing your schedule.

In addition, Power Diary integrates with Stripe and allows the system to require up-front payments or deposits for appointments. When patients pay for appointments at the time of booking, they’re much more likely to show up for the appointment.

Last but not least: whether you run a practice by yourself or have more members on your team, it’s worth documenting standard operating procedures (SOPs) and practice policies such as cancellation and no-show policies. This lays the foundation for consistent service delivery and simplifies training new team members. With Power Diary, you get a built-in, customisable Practice Operations Manual to help you implement such SOPs and policies easily.

3. Simplified Payments

Patient billing is probably one of your biggest headaches, particularly if you run your practice alone. It’s stressful when patients don’t pay their bills, not to mention that it eats into precious time you could have used more productively.

That’s why you want to make it as easy as possible for patients to pay you, and as early as possible. Power Diary integrates with Stripe, allowing patients to use popular payment methods to settle their bills online. And having payment policies in place further ensures that patients know what’s expected of them when they engage your services. Don’t forget to state these policies clearly in places like your website and patient intake forms!

Power Diary also allows you to set up invoice templates suited to your practice so that billing patients is quick and easy. If you only require partial or no up-front patient payments, you can see which invoices are overdue and follow up promptly. You can send payment reminders using pre-configured email templates to avoid sounding pushy.

PRO TIP: If you run a cash-based practice, Power Diary lets you configure your patient setup to create superbills for patients to submit for insurance reimbursement.

4. Improved Portability & Security with Cloud-Based EMR

One of the most remarkable aspects of modern-day technology is that many services have moved into the cloud. Power Diary is no exception to this, which means you can run a mobile practice completely hassle-free, see patients at various locations, and perform administrative duties at home when needed because your data is easily accessible yet safe and encrypted. Power Diary’s unwavering commitment to data security is proven by its recent ISO-27001 certification which confirms the company’s adherence to internationally recognised security standards.

5. Powerful Integrations & Automation

An integral part of a physical therapist’s role in helping patients recover from injuries is tracking their progress. Specialised and widely used software packages such as Physitrack let physical therapists prescribe customised or popular prerecorded exercises for patients with access to a library of over 4600 professionally narrated videos. It also facilitates electronic tracking of patient progress. Power Diary integrates seamlessly with Physitrack to save time with faster setup of new patient accounts in Physitrack, instant access to patients’ Physitrack records within Power Diary, and more.

Power Diary also offers other integrations to help you run your practice productively and smoothly:

For physical therapists, the benefits of using practice management software that includes electronic medical records are undisputed. But, choosing software can be a bit more difficult. Take care to select a package that meets not only your most critical needs but also one that will help you deliver a better patient experience and grow your practice.

With a full suite of features and robust integrations, Power Diary helps you reduce late cancellations and no-shows, simplifies the billing process and receipt of payments, speeds up patient note-taking, allows you to work from anywhere, and supports your marketing efforts and overall business performance.

Now’s the time to make the switch. Power Diary’s 14-Day Free Trial lets you explore exactly how the system will help you level up your practice operations- no credit card required!

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