Licensed Physical Therapist Shares Helpful Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to EMR

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Many physical therapists are feeling the pressure to choose a physical therapy software that will affect their practice for years to come especially now that the deadline is coming near. Physical therapist and international marketing expert, Nitin Chhoda has recently devised five new tips to help therapists make a smooth transition to an EMR.

physical therapy management plan

EMR for physical therapy services. Most EMR systems were created with hospitals and physicians in mind. Assembling a team to make a plan, establish goals and set a realistic deadline for implementation will facilitate the process.

“A lot of vendors of today will tell you that their software won’t affect the way you conduct business. But the very act of implementing EMR will change the way reimbursement claims are submitted, documentation prepared and communication sent with patients. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make the entire process easier,” said Chhoda.

Anticipating Problems
Implementing physical therapy EMR software represents a significant undertaking. Practitioners should expect that there will be glitches and problems until everyone in the clinic is familiar with the system. They must provide sufficient training for staff members so as to reduce errors. They should also listen to the feedback of their staff so that it will help them address problems as they arise and improve the system.

Determining the Needs of the Practice
According to Chhoda, physical therapists have specific documentation needs and an EMR will affect every facet of the practice. He advised clinicians to determine the needs of their practice. They must know what they want the EMR to accomplish. Due diligence is encouraged in order to choose an effective EMR for physical therapy services. Most EMR systems were created with hospitals and physicians in mind. Practitioners should assemble a team to make a plan, establish goals and set a realistic deadline for implementation so as to facilitate the process.

Important Components
EMRs are continuously evolving to include a wide variety of functionalities, but Chhoda warned therapists against becoming so enamored of the advertised features that they lose sight of the essential components of a quality EMR. Physical therapy management software should be HIPAA-compliant and include a patient portal, electronic billing, and the ability to import notes and other documents. A web-based system provides access from any location equipped with an Internet connection for portability.

Customization and Flexibility
Chhoda emphasized that an integrated EMR for a physical therapy practice should offer the flexibility to create custom documents to reflect the clinic’s methods and procedures, and enhance the office workflow and patient care. An electronic medical record system is a long-term investment that should encompass the ability to grow along with the practice.

Support and Upgrades
The field of physical therapy is constantly changing, so are the rules and regulations governing patient care and billing requirements. Chhoda advised therapists to ensure their choice of EMR provides automatic updates and upgrades to reflect changes in healthcare laws, along with 24/7 support.

Many therapists may be tempted to select the first EMR they review, thinking any EMR is better than none. Chhoda’s five tips provide therapists with the essential information and functionalities required to take them smoothly into the 21st century of office and patient management with an EMR.

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

About Nitin Chhoda
Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an entrepreneur. He is the author of "Physical Therapy Marketing For The New Economy" and "Marketing for Physical Therapy Clinics" and is a prolific speaker, writer and creator of products and systems to streamline medical billing and coding, electronic medical records, health care practice management and marketing to increase referrals. He has been featured in numerous industry magazines, major radio and broadcast media, and is the founder of Referral Ignition training systems and the annual Private Practice Summit. Chhoda speaks extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. He is also the creator of the Therapy Newsletter and Clinical Contact, both web-based services to help private practices improve communication with patients, delivery better quality of care and boost patient retention.

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