October 23, 2020 | Doug Cundiff, MPT, MPH

3 Minute Read

5 Ways to Reclaim Visibility and Control in Your Hospital Outpatient Program

In the hustle and bustle of a hospital outpatient therapy program, sometimes you wish you could move through the day with more confidence in your patient flow, compliance, and revenue. But between staffing and scheduling decisions, provider efficiency, and patient outcomes, you’re often juggling far too much to see the bigger picture.

Reclaim control over your hospital outpatient programs

It may be time to consider implementing the following key features into your electronic medical record (EMR) systems to not only improve overall visibility but also allow clinicians to reclaim control over your hospital outpatient programs.

1. Easily Modify Schedules

Though patient scheduling is a crucial aspect of any therapist’s day-to-day, changes inpatient or therapist appointment times can be difficult to implement on bulky EMR systems. It’s common practice to leave teammates notes when appointment times shift to avoid navigating the system’s interface. However, without modifying the schedule program-wide, you may run the risk of double-booking a therapist or leaving an empty appointment slot.

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You can improve control over patient scheduling with easy drag-and-drop capabilities in your EMR software. Just hover over a patient’s appointment slot and drag it to its new time — it’s that simple. No more abandoned appointment slots and no more displeased patients duking it out over an appointment time. 

2. Visualize Provider Availability 

Timely appointments weigh heavily in overall patient satisfaction. Likewise, when a patient questions a provider’s availability, we should be able to issue a near-immediate response, without room for doubt. Unfortunately, the majority of EMR systems cause therapists to do double the work to determine provider availability, creating a general lag in wait time. 

In contrast, therapist scheduling templates allow outpatient rehab programs to easily visualize provider availability to streamline daily operations. Quickly understand when a therapist is available or with a patient to improve overall patient flow.

3. Implement Filters to Sift Through Data 

Rehab therapists’ days are jam-packed and begin the moment you step foot into the hospital. The time therapists dedicate to their patients is invaluable, but manually sifting through data each morning wastes operational hours department-wide. Instead, implement filters to view upcoming schedules by the therapist, clinical team, discipline, or visit type. In this way, you can effectively keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening inside the clinic without reducing therapist productivity.

4. Keep Therapists in the Loop

High therapist productivity is the basis of outstanding patient flow and revenue. However, it’s difficult to be timely to patient appointments when our days become side-tracked with manually inputting data. Not to mention, if you don’t have a system-wide policy in place to alert therapists that a patient has arrived, it can be tricky to flag down the therapist to let them know. Combined, these factors can negatively impact overall productivity.

Together, we can stop leaving patients waiting and improve timeliness across the board. Convenient in-app alerts allow team-members to notify therapists of a patient’s arrival to ensure each visitor is seen quickly and no therapist is left in the dark. 

5. Automate Documentation with Prebuilt Templates

Documentation is key to rehab therapy, from following Medicare 8-Minute Rule requirements to noting functional improvements in patients. Without a consistent documentation system, therapists and hospital outpatient clinics spend as much time sorting through patient records and billing as we do with the actual patient. Reclaim control over outpatient rehab therapy and automate documentation with prebuilt templates organized by body part or skill area.

Take Back the Power in Your Rehab Therapy Clinic

Learn how Net Health Therapy for Hospital Outpatient clinics and Private Practices can help providers reclaim visibility and control of their outpatient programs.

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