As reimbursement becomes a challenge and profits are tight, the decision to support community efforts often becomes one of the first budget cuts.
Bob Worden, PTA, ATC, MS, MBA, CAGS
Looking back on our first decade as a clinic, Pinnacle Physical Therapy (a member of the Pinnacle Rehabilitation Network), we can say, “Good things happen to good clinics.” Surviving the infiltration of hospital- and physician-owned clinics in our community has been challenging. Maintaining our patient volume with a volatile physician-referral base has required a steadfast commitment to our guiding principles.
Lessons learned during the first year of private practice.
By Jeanette M. De Witt, PT, MPT, LAT, ATC
From July 1998 through January 2012, I practiced in a wonderful hospital system in Ohio that allowed me to gain experience, attend educational seminars, and advance my career from a staff physical therapist to a supervisor. Although I was content with my position, I always held high hopes that I would own my own clinic “one day.” After a family vacation to Wisconsin and falling in love with the state, my family decided to move, and I returned to a staff physical therapist position. However, after seven months, I found myself missing the supervisory responsibilities I had once enjoyed at the hospital. I elected to give private practice a whirl and reached out to a company that assists therapists in opening their own clinics and decided to pursue my dream. After a month of interviews, I joined the company’s network and embarked on my first year as a clinic director. This was a large leap of faith from which I have greatly benefitted. My practice was truly built from the ground up as at the time of signing, the clinic location was not even confirmed yet!
When is it time to make the transition to EMR?
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS
Health care is at a crossroads. Daily, we face increasing pressure to maximize efficiency and create a more streamlined method of care delivery. Along with advances in the practice of physical therapy, there is a push to migrate toward an electronic platform for medical records. As a practice approaches making a smooth transition from paper to electronic medical records (EMR), one must consider many factors.
Does the use of an electronic medical record system have a negative impact on our patient care?
By Dena Aitken, PT
Over the last 10 years, electronic medical records (EMR) have become commonplace in all aspects of health care and physical therapy. With today’s increased regulations and coding requirements, good software that guides and assists is essential.
However, I would like to caution all providers on allowing our EMR systems to replace our professional skills and knowledge. I see this repeatedly in health care, when doctors go through a list of questions, and based on the answers to the prompts the computer produces, they generate a diagnosis. As a patient, you might leave thinking, “Did the doctor really listen to what was actually going on with me or did I just conveniently fit into one of their computer based categories?”
Utilizing an electronic medical record system and practice management software can dramatically save time while providing powerful and useful statistics.
By Jerry Rush PT, MPT, OCS, CEAS
Successful private practice owners understand that there is one thing that they need to have a profitable business: data. Data has been important for practice owners to see the performance of their businesses and identify areas that need to be improved or changed. Traditionally, the data needed contains certain critical statistics and information about their practice. However, it is becoming more apparent that practice owners also feel increased pressure to supply data about their practices to insurance carriers for payment negotiations. Further, companies that utilize physical therapy practices for ergonomic, worksite rehabilitation, or contracting services require data about quality, cost, and bottom-line savings up front. Data collecting and analysis can require considerable time and energy. However, utilizing an electronic medical record (EMR) system can save time and provide powerful statistics. An EMR also allows you to put stream-lined operations in place.