If you’ve spent any time at all searching for an EMR, you know it’s not one-size-fits-all technology—but it’s not one-size-fits-one technology, either. Despite the name, a physical therapy EMR—like WebPT—isn’t for physical therapists only. Here’s how to make a PT EMR work for your OT practice:
What to look for in an EMR
The reason a PT EMR can work so well for OTs is because both specialties need many of the same EMR features, including:
- Comprehensive documentation
- Regular—and free—compliance updates and built-in alerts regarding regulatory changes like PQRS, FLR, and ICD-10
- Practice management
- Free and easy-to-access customer education and support
- Cloud-based platform (especially convenient for mobile and in-home OTs)
If an EMR has all these features, you’re off to a great start—but just because an EMR offers them doesn’t mean they all will work for your OT practice as-is. The best way to ensure an EMR has refined the crucial parts of its functionality with occupational therapists in mind is simply to ask.
What to ask your vendor
Because selecting—and switching to—an EMR requires time, effort, and resources, there are lots of questions you’ll want to ask yourself when evaluating an EMR. But asking the right questions of your vendor becomes much more important when your profession isn’t part of that vendor’s primary market. As you talk to potential PT EMR suitors, make sure you ask these questions:
- How did your company approach tailoring its software to meet the needs of OTs?
- Did you consult with practicing OTs?
- How did you conduct industry research?
- Does your software offer a separate OT user profile?
- If not, how do you ensure my clinic’s accounts are OT-specific?
- How does your software brand my documents so it’s clear my practice is an OT clinic?
- Do you have an occupational therapy label?
- Can I add my clinic name and logo to my documents?
- Does your software feature OT billing codes? What about Medicare therapy cap-tracking?
- What OT-related tests and tools are built into your software?
- Activities of Daily Living (ADL) profile?
- Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) test?
- Upper extremity functional test?
- Shoulder pain and disability index?
- Hand and joint tests?
- Detailed wrist/hand profile?
- Ability to document and bill for custom orthoses, casts, and splints?
While it might not have been designed for occupational therapists originally, a PT EMR can indeed work effectively for OTs—and it doesn’t have to require a crazy number of workarounds, either. In fact, the right PT EMR won’t require you to do anything beyond selecting your specialty within the application. It might not be easy for you to weed out all the ones that don’t offer OT functionality, but if you keep these features and questions in mind, you’re sure to find a PT EMR vendor that also suits occupational therapists—and makes it easier for you achieve greatness in therapy practice.