The Ultimate Physical Therapy Software Tools Roundup
The Solo-Step team usually likes to keep the focus of our blog on what we do best…providing industry-leading information on body weight support systems. This is, of course, our bread and butter. We are known through-out the PT world as a leader in manufacturing body weight support systems.
But we also like to give readers of our blog “general physical therapy” information from time to time when it seems relevant. Having talked to thousands of physical therapists in hundreds of practices over the years, our team of fall protection advocates have a pretty good idea of what physical therapists are discussing and what’s important to them.
Today we will share some information that we have gleaned about:
Physical Therapy Software Tools
The days of even the smallest PT practice being able to get by without software systems at all but gone.
A key provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is that healthcare providers show “meaningful use” of EMR (electronic medical records) or face a reduction in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.
For now that does not have an immediate effect on Physical Therapists. As of the writing of this blog post penalties for non-compliance vary depending what type of health-care you offer. If you need more info on these very specific regulations we have provided a link at the bottom of this post. However, implementing an EMR as well as other systems can make your life a WHOLE lot easier. It can seem like a daunting task to purchase, install and understand how to use new software to be sure. But it doesn’t have to be.
Pro-Tip: Any practice can run smoother and move quicker with the implementation of decent software. You might be surprised there are plenty of great systems that are very affordable.
Physical Therapy software tools can be broken down two basic ways. Method of deployment and what business function they serve.
All systems can be divided into two methods of deployment. Although some can live in both arenas. They are either “browser or web-based” or they are installed. Installed applications are becoming somewhat a thing of the past. They can be tricky to manage without an in-house IT person.
With all of the secure “cloud” technology that is available now it has become very unnecessary to have an installed software situation. Even bigger offices and practices tend to go with a web-based approach these days. In fact, there are so few companies that offer an “install only” situation that we are not going to address those at this time.
More importantly, PT software is categorized by its business purpose. What process does it simplify? What are the benefits of using this software versus an “old-school” approach? (Old-school=Pen, Paper and Filing Cabinet!)
Below is a list of those classifications:
Billing and Invoicing
Patient Relationship Management
Seem like a lot of stuff to wade through? Actually it’s not too bad. So many physical therapy software tools have overlapping features that it’s not hard to separate them.
That’s why we’ve done the heavy and complied this list. To be fair, we have not tried a majority of these solutions, but we have taken a look their features and benefits and broken them down for you.
As we were cross-checking which systems do what, we noticed a commonality between three. WEB PT, Thera Office and Apollo. The only thing that WEB PT really doesn’t touch is Exercise Management. Thera Office is the only “all-in-one” instance that we could find. Apollo was the third biggie that showed up under just about every category. So for ease of use, in the list below, we only have listed the companies BESIDES those three.
Activity Monitoring: eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, PracticePerfect, AcuBase Live
Admissions Management: InsightEMR, AcuBase Live, bestPT, FieldSync Health, Intelligent Medical Software, PT Practice Pro
Appointment Management: TheraBill, ClinicSource, eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, InsightEMR, PracticePerfect
Billing and Invoicing: TheraBill, ClinicSource, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR, PracticePerfect, AcuBase Live
Exercise Management: eTherapyDocs, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR, PracticePerfect, bestPT, Exercise Pro
Multi-Location: TheraBill, ClinicSource, eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR
Patient Records: TheraBill, ClinicSource, eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR
Patient Relationship Management: Hability
Practice Management: TheraBill, ClinicSource, eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR
Progress Notes: TheraBill, ClinicSource, eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR
Reminders: TheraBill, ClinicSource, eTherapyDocs, My Clients Plus, Fusion for Pediatrics, InsightEMR, PracticePerfect,, bestPT
Perhaps even more than features, ease of use is definitely something you want to consider when selecting physical therapy software tools.
Most software manufacturers can provide you with an in-depth demonstration before you purchase. If they do not have a good demo available to you before you buy, it’s probably a safe bet that they are not going to be there for you after the sale when you need them for training and support.
The great thing is that even the most feature rich systems are now designed for ease of use. It used to be that the more a piece of software accomplished, the harder it was to use.
Software companies realized this and are now tailoring their software with the end-user in mind.
Quite a few systems are modeled after Windows applications which makes them very familiar to most users. Others follow a “drag-and-drop” model which are typically very easy to use. Drag-and-drop systems really heavily on imagery to create an easy to learn, easy to use workflow.
Here’s the takeaway: the right software package can greatly improve the flow of your practice (read: more money) and let you spend more time doing what you love to do…providing amazing physical therapy for your patients!