This post was contributed by our friends at WebPT to help you jump start your marketing efforts during National Physical Therapy Month.
Typically when discussing electronic medical record (EMR) systems, people bring up the benefits of digital documentation: it’s easier, faster, and more organized, plus it looks better than the traditional pen-and-paper method. But that’s only the beginning of the great EMR discussion. The right EMR solution provides so much more than a just means of documenting effectively and efficiently. It can also help you market your practice. Here’s how:
According to the APTA’s Marketing to Health Care Professionals guide, 94% of consumers go directly to their primary care provider for pain or mobility concerns. Those providers—hopefully—then refer those patients to rehab therapists, which means referrals play a key role in your acquisition of new patients. Thus, in addition to marketing your practice to potential patients directly, you must also market to other medical professionals. And when it comes to any form of marketing, you should track your efforts.
Good EMR solutions take into account the importance of this, and that’s why they offer referral reporting. This feature allows you to attach the name of a particular physician to each patient he or she sends your way. Later, you can create a report identifying your best referral sources as well as those that probably need a little more networking attention.
We recently sat down with one of our Advisors, Steve Thompson, and asked him some tough questions about the PT profession. We’ve already told you why we think it’s a great time to be a PT, now Steve shares his take on PTs explosive growth (the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that PT will grow 39% from 2010 to 2020!).
Age Is Just a Number
I believe PT is growing for several reasons. First, the baby boomer generation is aging and reaching Medicare eligible ages and as they age, they will need more support and help to maintain lifestyles to which they are accustomed. Also, the population has aged, the number of joint replacements being performed is increasing as well and those patients need skilled therapy to recover from this complex surgery. The idea of senior citizens is transforming as well. Many of our “senior citizens” are becoming “athletic seniors”. As this population ages and wants to keep an active lifestyle, physical therapy stands to be a front-runner in helping keep this population active. Physical therapists are the best-trained healthcare professionals to assess and treat movement impairments. As we age, we will most likely develop more and more movement impairments and therefore, PT will be needed and the growth in the profession will be justified.
We recently sat down with one of our PT Advisors, Steve Thompson, and asked him some tough questions about the PT profession. Here he shares his take on PTs place in Healthcare reform and the power of community.
PT will play a major role in lowering the cost of healthcare
As insurers and politicians are looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs, PTs can fill this role in the new healthcare reform. One way that costs can be reduced is by allowing the consumer to access PTs directly. Currently, in California, if a consumer has an injury, then he/she can access their physician without needing a referral in most cases. Strangely, the consumer can also go see an acupuncturist, massage therapist, personal trainer, chiropractor, or cross-fit gym all without a referral from a physician. However, if a consumer has a musculoskeletal injury, they cannot access a physical therapist, sometimes the best resource to help with many musculoskeletal conditions. Currently, there is a bill in the California legislature that will open Direct Access to physical therapists without the need for a referral but it still needs to clear a few more hurdles to become a law. If Direct Access is achieved, this could allow for PTs becoming a great addition to the healthcare system and reducing healthcare costs. Continue reading →