Even before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the healthcare system was already under a huge amount of stress owing to additional charting requirements, higher productivity standards, and increased patient load—not to mention the changing needs and demands of the public. The physical therapy field isn’t immune to these issues. If anything, PT practices are feeling a great burden to make sure that patients receive the service and care they deserve even with the challenges that the times bring. This is where new technologies and innovations like physical therapy software and telehealth services come into play.
Just like many medical fields, PT practices are leaning toward virtual means to continue providing service in the midst of an overwhelmed health system. Telehealth makes use of electronic means of communication to provide healthcare services and information remotely. Many PT practices have been using telehealth along with physical therapy practice solutions to give patients more convenient access to their services and they are seeing great success in their implementation, as evidenced by the positive feedback from patients benefiting from these systems. If you are yet to implement telehealth in your own practice or are interested in exploring its possibilities, read on to know more about the steps you need to take to get started with telehealth service:
- The first step to establishing a telehealth service in your PT practice is to evaluate the needs of your patients and the clinic in general. Is your system currently overwhelmed by appointments? Are you struggling to meet the needs of your patients because of restrictions in your physical location? Do you have patients in remote areas? Do road conditions become difficult at certain times of the year? These are crucial questions to ask when trying to gauge your need for a telehealth service.
- Survey patients and scale their interest in remote PT services. Telehealth may not ambe worth the investment if your patients are not comfortable or interested in this mode of service.
- See that your staff and practitioners are up for it. Just as you transitioned to a physical therapy practice management software, you also want the nod of your practitioners and staff for telehealth, as they will be directly interacting with the technology and implementing the service once your system is up.
- Decide on the right platform for your needs. Employ the same vetting process as you did your physical therapy software to make sure that you are working with the best tool for the job.
- Before making your final call, run the numbers to see if telehealth is worth the investment. Get your financial officer, manager, and your prospect telehealth platform provider on board to get a realistic overview of what your upfront and recurring costs will be like.
- Ask for a trial run of your prospect system. Consider a soft opening for the service, with some skeletal staff and prospective clients, or perhaps trial clients so you can test the interface and observe how the system can be improved to fit your requirements.
- Provide training for your staff so they can efficiently use the platform. This will also help you get past the birth pains of the service more quickly as you will get to address issues before rolling out.
- Get your staff’s and patients’ feedback to perfect the service and see whether it is worth retaining for the long term.
When it comes to solutions like telehealth and PT practice management, it pays routinely performing evaluations and checks to see how effective the strategies are. In PT practice management platforms like Apollo, the system features web-based reporting and data analysis, which helps PT practices evaluate strategies and assess the overall performance of the business. This allows practice managers to evaluate and explore different aspects of the practice and in turn maximize its efficiencies. Apollo Practice Management even includes financial reports, productivity reports, A/R reports, collection reports, monthly patient billing reports, and even rejection reports on top of its general practice status and account reports to provide overall visibility on the practice’s performance. These tools can likewise be useful in determining how well your telehealth efforts are doing in light of the performance of the entire practice.
As I mentioned earlier, to be successful in the health system and serve the patients effectively. It is important to move towards physical therapy practice management software, whether it is a small clinic or a big one. This will help the patients and therapists like Stress due to billing errors, keep patients’ information in a centralized location, Billing software can track follow-up appointments, saves patients time, creates less paperwork, and damages the image of practice, etc. Technological advancement helps everyone easy access to information, communication improvement, easier life, better education.