EMRs and social media: you might be wondering if—and how—the two are related. To start, it’s possible that you—a tech-savvy PT—use one or the other on a daily basis. Furthermore, EMRs and social media both represent innovative solutions for expediting communication, collecting data, and connecting with people. Lastly, EMRs and social media are both web-based. (Wait, is your EMR server-based? That’s not good. Here’s why.)

Your EMR enables you to create documentation that is cleaner and easier to track than paper notes. Thus, when you have questions about a patient’s history, you turn to your EMR for answers. There, you can find information about the patient’s past as well as his or her current condition and progress. But, where do you turn when you have a question about your EMR itself? How many ways can you contact your EMR company when you need help? A phone number is not enough.

You should have more communication options than the standard support channels (e.g., phone and email). Your EMR also should have social media pages where you can reach out to the company directly (and, if they’re really on top of it, where you can see what’s buzzing in the therapy industry). You trust your EMR on a daily basis to be accurate and to have your back when it comes to compliance. Shouldn’t that translate into transparency on social media? The short answer is “yes.”

Let’s say your EMR does have a Facebook and Twitter account. Great! Now, riddle me this:

  • What kind of content do they share?
  • Do you find it interesting?
  • If a therapist poses a question about the system, does that person receive a prompt, genuine answer? Or, if the issue is too complex to address on social, does the company indicate it will reach out directly to the customer to solve the problem?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, or if you feel uneasy about your EMR’s presence on social media, here are some red flags to watch for:

  • Generic, robot-esque, repetitive answers to customer questions
  • Posts irrelevant to therapy
  • Posts that offer money or prizes in an attempt to engage followers
  • An abundance of negative content casting an air of doom and gloom on the industry
  • Sporadic posting
  • No social media presence whatsoever

Beyond help and support, your EMR’s social media pages should celebrate the profession of rehab therapy. A good EMR company cares about the industry as a whole and that should be evident in their online presence.

Open communication; it’s not just for phone calls. From tweeting to posting to answering emails, your EMR should always be looking out for you, and their attention to their social media audience could give you an honest glimpse inside the company you trust for your documentation.