athenahealth is a leading provider of cloud-based and on-premise healthcare solutions for medical groups and health systems nationwide. Their vision is to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers acc.. Read more
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A good occupational therapist can help patients bridge the gap between the difficulties they face and return to being healed & capable of basic daily functions once again. This is an excellent motivation, but are you using technology optimally to assist as many people as possible? This is one reason to invest in a focused EHR for Occupational therapy practices, rather than an ordinary product.
But how do you know you’re picking the real winner? We’ll help you with our simple guide below.
So how will technology optimize your day to day functioning?
The primary goal is to:
Yes, the right program will be the key to getting this right. But getting it wrong may lead to more frustration in your office. For starters, you must ensure your EHR supports tasks that relate to ALL you do (which not all other medical professional may deal with on a daily basis):
The general software may work for others, but not for you.
The good news is that there are many products out there that will suffice. Here are the particulars to look out for.
When your software contains irrelevant items you’ll page through menus and layouts, purely wasting time. You may even have to waste time creating niche-specific layouts to make the program more usable.
Why waste that time and energy, when there are appropriate products on the market? You’ll find software with items relating to the following:
It also helps if your EHR provides you with discharge templates, all to save time on paperwork.
Your niche usually doesn’t provide instant solutions. Often, there will be a long road to recovery lying ahead for you and your patient. Your software is supposed to help you manage that.
One challenge is the fact that there will be a lot of information coming your way during the ensuing weeks or months. Of course you can’t remember all this information of each patient. With an EHR for Occupational Therapy there will be ways of organizing this such as allocated space for:
This gives you a holistic view of each patient by simply opening his or her file. Now you’re empowered to do something very dynamically: Goal tracking.
You can make informed decisions based on the current discussion with your patient in combination with the history; It also helps you make dynamic plans for the road ahead.
Remember, EHR software can communicate with other professionals too. Previous doctors’ notes can be accessible to you, so you have as much information as possible within your reach. With a visual representation of your patient’s condition, progression and challenges, you can visualize the road ahead easier too.
Your daily tasks don’t consist of only sitting behind a desk. You’re active in helping your patients. Most likely you don’t like a lot of paperwork and you probably don’t have time for it. However, documenting is vital to getting your job right.
Luckily, this tech can cut down on the time you spend on documentation. When layouts and templates relate to your niche, you’ll fill out reports quickly.
An EHR for Occupational Therapy is usually designed in collaboration with experts in this medical field so you’ll find it ready to use. High end packages will also allow customization so your reports only contain what you deem necessary, for even faster completion.
As an Occupational Therapist you have to keep many items in stock. Here’s the goal with software today: Find one program that can do it all for you. The moment you have to use different programs you run the risk of them being incompatible or you waste time switching between them. Luckily modern EHR software can even handle inventory.
Of course, your budget dictates how much you’ll eventually spend, but these features may be worth more than you think. Consider spending a bit more if it will ensure you become more effective, build your reputation, and effectively benefit your bottom line:
Voice dictation: This you won’t find everywhere, but for an occupational therapist this could be a deal-breaker. While you’re busy with a patient, this feature could help you capture valuable information, prevent you from forgetting something you want to try during the next session or ask a colleague. Record this as you think of it, so you never forget vital information again.
Going Mobile: You can limit yourself to desktop software, or take your information wherever you go. Mobile features mean you can access patient data no matter where you are, ideal if you don’t always work at your practice. It also makes it easy to discuss particulars with others or add voice dictated notes when you think of a patient’s solution while sitting at home. And yes, with today’s secure systems you can feel comfortable supplying prescriptions via your mobile device.
Of course, you must also look for general benefits such as ease of use and excellent support from the service provider. The features mentioned above will make the difference between you loving your new setup or going back to doing everything manual. No—you’re in the 21st century: That’s not an option anymore.
Do you have more questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll be glad to help.