While we are well into 2023, it’s no secret that between regulations, marketplace uncertainty, and staffing challenges, times remain challenging for rehab therapists.
And yet, at the heart of the day-to-day challenges remains the need to care for patients—to help improve their outcomes and to meet their physical, social and increasingly, mental health demands. These issues are leading more rehab therapists to turn to outcomes management systems to measure therapy results, improve quality and market their results.
What is Outcomes Management?
Outcomes management harnesses predictive analytics to capture and report nationally benchmarked, risk-adjusted comparisons by company, clinic, and clinician over time. Outcomes management software can sync with existing electronic medical record (EMR) programs to provide robust healthcare analytics, ranging from patient-reported outcomes that compare treatment effectiveness and efficiency by impairment to satisfaction in real-time.
Such features provide tremendous flexibility and versatility, allowing today’s rehab therapists to streamline operations and keep clients engaged in care, even when in-person clinic visits aren’t possible. If you’re not yet sold, consider these five ways outcomes management aids today’s rehab therapists in improving patient care and facilitating clinician growth.
1. Better (and Faster) Ways to Perform Assessments
Patients typically have to answer a significant number of questions while filling out patient-reported assessments—many of which have nothing to do with their impairment. An outcomes management system uses modern science and computer-adaptive technology to streamline this process by tailoring the questions to the individual patient so that only a few questions are needed to get an accurate score. For telehealth appointments, this feature provides a seamless way to gather assessment data and limits patients’ frustration with filling out repetitive paperwork.
2. Tools to Measure Functional Status
The ability to measure functional status is critical for rehab therapists who perform outpatient therapy via a telehealth platform. These tools allow patients to conveniently complete assessments from home. Because the functional status results are delivered to the EHR in real-time, the clinician can efficiently incorporate the outcome measures into the evaluation and ongoing treatment processes, whether the patient is seen in the clinic or by telehealth.
3. Technology that Fosters Patient Engagement
A large advantage of outcomes management is predictive analytics. With this benefit, therapists can forecast the number of visits and duration needed to achieve recovery as well as the likely recovery amount. While helpful for therapists, such insights are also beneficial to patients. By sharing this information with patients—including details about how they’re progressing against expectations for their age, acuity, involved body part, and other risk-adjusted data—therapists can drive satisfaction rates, enhance patient motivation to actively participate in care, and reduce missed visits and premature discharge rates.
4. System Assistance with Reporting Requirement
Patient-reported outcomes have become a strong focus for MIPS reporting, encouraging patient-centered care. An effective outcomes management system should measure and manage relevant patient data in a consistent, standardized way across the practice, so therapists can identify and address any gaps in care. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, management software provides not only the ability to measure outcomes at the patient level but also generates aggregated data that can be used for insights to drive better patient outcomes.
Outcomes management software provides these features, along with measures of patient satisfaction and real-time alerts of negative patient satisfaction responses. In this way, the practice can locate and remedy sub-optimal patient experiences proactively.
5. Methodology to Improve Reimbursement and the Bottom Line
When it comes to finding ways to improve reimbursement, therapists know all too well that there is always something new coming down the pipeline from CMS. Not to mention that payers are continually looking for ways to slash what they pay to therapists. Outcomes management helps today’s rehab therapists with reimbursement and the referrals stream by giving clinicians the data-driven tools they need to optimize patient outcomes and engagement while providing objective and non-biased proof of quality to payers, referral sources, and the public by leveraging user-friendly reporting and marketing tools.
Providing the Tools Necessary to Thrive
Outcomes management systems are no longer a benefit—they’re a necessity for rehab therapists managing the complex and evolving healthcare landscape. FOTO Patient Outcomes is Net Health’s trusted outcomes management system, built to assist today’s therapists in daily operations and facilitate practice growth while keeping patients engaged and satisfied.
Discover how FOTO can provide the tools and support necessary to help therapists thrive today.