Are PTs destined for a life of data entry?

Do you feel like your relationship with your patients has been compromised because of excessive physical therapy documentation and data entry? Demanding PT documentation requirements and the shift to value-based care conspire to add to therapists workloads outside of the patient visit, limiting their ability to focus on delivering physical therapy care.

Activities outside of patient interactions are commanding an increasing amount of therapist’s time. It is now routine for therapists to preform thousands of mouse clicks daily and spend more time in front of their computers and less time with their patients.

Given the choice, most therapists would rather spend all of their time and energy on patient treatment, and little or no time on writing notes. However, physical therapists have to document, it’s part of the job. Physical therapy documentation proves that treatment was provided, was medically necessary, was compliant, and is a pre-requisite to reimbursement. Unfortunately, depending on the EMR you use in your PT office, documentation may now be synonymous with data entry.

But how do therapists manage the responsibility to accurately document their visit with the responsibility to provide patient-centered care?

Maybe it starts with how you document- not just how often.

PTs have always, and will continue to need documentation. Clinical documentation helps keep track of your patient’s progress, minimize errors, and improve patient outcomes. But this same critically important part of the job also causes headaches for so many therapists.

That is why you need documentation technology that is user friendly and makes documentation quicker and more efficient. Whether it’s customizable templates or stored libraries to reduce re-entering commonly used phrases, technology should be working for you, first and foremost.

Ultimately, it is up to physical therapy EMR vendors to design thoughtful tools that are specific for outpatient therapy providers. Technology that is faster, more intuitive, and designed specifically for physical therapy can ease the burden of data entry and bring therapists back where they belong- delivering great patient care.

At BMS Practice Solutions, we believe that experience drives technologic innovation. We have been in the business of getting therapists paid what they deserve for the past 30 years and have developed a state-of-the-art EMR that is fully integrated with our scheduler, practice management, and billing platform. Our EMR designed specifically for therapy providers allows our therapists to efficiently create accurate and compliant exam and treatment notes while our claims scrubbing processes deliver optimal results for your claims. No other company can compete with our experience or results.