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Guest Blog: Technological Advancements of 2013: Gamified Exercise Programs and Electronic Medical Records

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It’s 2013, health and although we’re a bit further behind than say, prostate The Jetsons, we’ve come quite a long way in terms of technological development. We are, after all, a society—maybe even a species—of technophiles who can’t wait to get our hands on the latest and greatest devices, tools, and applications designed to make our personal lives easier. But what about our professional ones? Why—when there are fantastic technological advancements that will no doubt make our professional lives better—do we still rely on outdated, antiquated methods for working?

Perhaps we’re holding on to the past. Perhaps we still enjoy a good paper-bound book, an ink pen, and the way things used to be—and somehow that translates into being resistant to change. Or perhaps we just don’t fully understand how much these advancements can actually improve our productivity, our efficiency, and most importantly, our ability to provide excellent patient care.

Today, let’s talk about two such beneficial technological advancements: gamified exercise programs and electronic medical records (EMRs). While these may appear to be disparate concepts, they are quite similar in their potential to help a physical therapy practice achieve greatness in business and in clinical care.

If you’re already considering implementing a gamified exercise program—like Jintronix—into your traditional episode of care, or as a method for generating additional cash-based revenue, or even as a way to improve patients’ home exercise program compliance, you already know how this type of technology can work in your favor. As Jintronix Co-Founder Shawn Errunza points out in an interview with WebPT: “The use of this technology can have a big impact on the physical therapy industry.” Using Jintronix, PTs can offer more hours of rehab to their patients in the clinic and at home, which means “patients can get better faster and have more fun doing their exercises.”

Sounds good, right? Well, an EMR—the right EMR—provides a similarly positive outcome, albeit in a different way. You see, not only can an EMR make it easier for you to run the business side of your practice so you can spend more time treating your patients, but it also can help you stay compliant, maximize your reimbursements, and increase referrals. In other words, an EMR can help you improve your bottom line. Plus, just think how silly it would look if you’re scribbling on crumpled paper and trying to find a pen that works while your patients are using the Microsoft Kinect sensor to play through therapy.

So, what exactly did I mean when I referenced the “right EMR” in the above paragraph? Well, just as not all gamified exercise programs are created equally, neither are EMRs. So look for an EMR that meets the following three criteria:

1. Web-based (a.k.a. cloud-based)

Web-based systems are considerably more agile than server-based systems, which means you’ll benefit from immediate and automatic updates without having to download additional software or upgrade your entire system. Nor will you need to hire dedicated IT or security staff to ensure your server-based system functions correctly and your data remains safe. Additionally, the flexibility of a web-based EMR means that anytime a new documentation or billing regulation goes into effect—like functional limitation reporting or ICD-10—your EMR will be able to incorporate new features and services to help you remain compliant.

2. Designed for a therapist

There are many EMRs out there that cater to the kitchen sink of medical professionals, and that translates directly into a waste of time. Creating workarounds and Band-Aid fixes might seem bearable for the first few days, but as the extra time and frustration build—and inevitably, they will—you’ll be left with a system that hinders your ability to efficiently run your practice and treat your patients. So choose an EMR that’s designed for a therapist and you’ll benefit from a host of great features like intuitive SOAP notes, referral reports, and Medicare therapy cap tracking.

3. Compatible with the devices you already use

Sure, all EMRs offer a step up from documenting on paper. After all, you no longer have to file, store, and then try to find—and understand—your faded notes. But one of the greatest benefits an EMR can offer is the ability to safely and securely access your patients’ information from anywhere, anytime, on any device—which means you’re no longer chained to your desk, finishing your documentation into the late-night hours. It goes where you go, and you can work from anywhere, provided that your EMR is compatible with the devices—laptop, tablet, PC, and Mac—that you already use or wish to start using.
So what are you waiting for? It’s 2013, and there are plenty of fantastic technological advancements available to help you be better in business and provide exceptional patient care. Start considering how these and others could help your practice today.

About WebPT

With more than 24,000 members and 4,700 clinics, WebPT is the leading EMR for physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs) and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Offering a simple, affordable solution, WebPT makes it easy for therapists to transition from paper and outdated software to a user-friendly, cloud-based system. With WebPT, therapists, directors and front office staff all have access to their patients’ medical records anywhere, anytime, from any web-enabled device. Based in downtown Phoenix, WebPT has a 99.9 percent uptime rate as well as a 99.5 percent customer retention rate. Learn more at WebPT.com.

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