Physical Therapy Software Systems and EMRs

A very important role of any physical therapy assistant is record keeping. And with move towards electronic medical records, there’s a whole new dimension in the way in which health care documentation is being managed in the digital age by physical therapy software.

In the old days, healthcare records were paper based, and usually located in the office of a medical facility or treatment center. Accessing these records could be time-consuming and difficult, especially if information was required off the premises. Physicians and therapists relied on the organizational skills of their staff to be able retrieve essential documentation and keep it up-to-date.

Electronic medical records (EMR) have the potential to change all that – especially with systems that are “cloud-based”. Essentially, this means that records are stored on a server that can be accessed from any location by an authorized user, so that information is not only available in the office, but also when doctors or therapists are on the go – making house calls, visiting clinics, or anywhere else that takes them away from their practice base. It also facilitates the sharing of information between specialist health care providers where required.

One of the tenets of good record-keeping and database management is that information should only be entered once in a central location where it can be kept current. One of the advantages of cloud-based EMR records is that the data is immediately updated to all users and devices. This not only makes therapists’ work quicker, but also reduces the potential for error.

Portability of EMRs

Physical Therapy Software Systems and EMRs

Now, physical therapy software systems are becoming available that allow practitioners to interact with records via a portable device such as an iPad or a laptop. There systems offer physical therapy professionals great flexibility in the efficient management of their practice and a choice of operating systems that suit their overall information architecture, such as Microsoft Windows or the Apple iOS. All that’s required is internet access.

The ability to integrate EMRs with management software that handles administrative functions such as appointment scheduling, billing and coding makes for simpler, more cost-effective practice management. Yet a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that only about one in ten medical practices benefits from a fully implemented physical therapy documentation system.

As EMRs becomes the norm in healthcare and providers realize the advantages of physical therapy software for practice management, we can expect to see more and more physical therapists convert to a similar cloud-based model.

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