Tips to Help Smooth the Process of EMR Implementation

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When a practice implements an electronic medical record (EMR) system for physical therapy services, glitches, mistakes and errors are inevitable. Premier physical therapist and marketing expert, Nitin Chhoda of EMR News has extensive experience with PT documentation software and offered new tips for the smooth implementation of an EMR system.

physical therapy EMR

It’s important to allow sufficient training and learning time for staff to become proficient. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s difficult to conduct business in a busy practice and focus on mastering a new system.

“Don’t let the fact that an EMR is electronic deter you,” said Chhoda. “It’s just like paper records, but without the labor intensive documentation process. An electronic medical record system will save you money and provide better turnaround on reimbursements.”

With the current capabilities for collecting, preserving and recalling information, paper records are obsolete. Knowing when to transition to a more modern method of doing the same thing doesn’t have to be traumatic. Chhoda offered physical therapists the following tips for a smooth transition to an EMR.

Make time
As eager as therapists may be to establish an EMR, it’s imperative to take the time to define the needs of the practice and research multiple EMR systems. It’s important to allow sufficient training and learning time for staff to become proficient. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s difficult to conduct business in a busy practice and focus on mastering a new system.

Transition team
Staff members are an integral part of the physical therapy EMR transitioning team and can provide valuable insight into the way the system works and ways to customize it to better benefit the practice. All departments should be represented, from reception and billers to therapists.

Uploading records
Transferring existing records can be tedious, but the EMR will be the new home for all patient information in the future. Begin with a single facet of the practice. It can be patient records, billing data or contact information. Patient records can encompass literally thousands of files and Chhoda noted that if therapists and staff don’t have the time to achieve the transfer, practice owners should consider outsourcing the task.

Redundant paper
For those who can’t quite bear to part with their paper records, patient data can be scanned into the new physical therapy documentation software where they can be used side-by-side with the electronic data. Once the information has been completely transferred, dispose of the paper records appropriately and then forget they ever existed. Laptops or tablets will be the new home for all patient records.

Prescription for success
Therapists tell their patients to relax, reduce stress and maintain their exercises while going about their normal day. It’s good advice for physical therapists who are implementing a new EMR system. Chhoda noted that stressing about the process only begets more stress that will hinder the cognitive abilities.

As an international marketing expert, Chhoda has assisted therapists around the world implement innovative and time saving office software. Establishing an EMR system in a practice requires time, patience and understanding of the occupational therapy software and the needs of staff. Chhoda’s new tips are the result of years of experience and provide practical advice to help smooth the path to implementation.

Chhoda’s office can be reached by phone at 201-535-4475. For more information, visit the website at

Nitin Chhoda is a licensed physical therapist, a doctor of physical therapy, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He’s the author of “Total Activation: The New 5 Step Fitness Mantra” and “Marketing for Physical Therapy Clinics.” He’s been featured in numerous industry magazines, major radio and broadcast media, and is the founder of Referral Ignition training systems, Private Practice Summit, the Private Practice Formula and the Private Practice Mastermind group. Chhoda speaks extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. He’s the creator of the Therapy Newsletter, along with Clinical Contact, a web-based service that boosts patient arrival rates.

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