physiquality blog: what are the causes of dizziness?

While I have never experienced vertigo (short of watching Hitchcock’s masterpiece, who in any case distorts what vertigo means), my husband has dealt with BPPV for some time. I have watched him wake up in a completely different world, one where he can barely put one foot in front of another. Thankfully, rehabilitation therapy and some positioning exercises can help, which is why I was happy that this month’s topic was dealing with dizziness.

This post was primarily written by our contributor, but it needed some editing. I added an intro and rearranged the content to help readers understand the topic better.

What are the causes of dizziness? Can occupational therapy help?

with advice from Chase Webre, OTR, CHT

It is a Monday morning, and you wake up in bed like normal. But when you sit up, the world crashes around you. The room appears to be spinning, and you can’t get it to stop. Your balance is unsteady. You feel like you might collapse or faint. What could cause this?

The causes of dizziness can be broken down into four categories, explains occupational therapist Chase Webre: Otologic (inner ear), central/neurologic (brain), medical, and psychological. If you start to suffer from dizziness, it is best to first see a physician to determine which of these categories your dizziness will fall into. If your problem falls into the central/neurologic, medical or psychological categories, a doctor is most likely the best healthcare professional to start treating the condition.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: exercise trends — rucking

Exercise trends will come and go. (I don’t think anyone expected the Thighmaster to last very long, did they?) When I heard about this trend, I mentally put it into the P90X/Tough Mudder/crazy challenge category.

And then I started reading up on the trend. The most impressive group I found was Go Ruck, which was launched by a former Green Beret to stay in shape after leaving the military. The movement evolved into not just a fitness trend, but a way to create relationships within the community. So while it may place an initial emphasis on strength training, it’s also a team building exercise.

As someone who has been working from home for almost 10 years now, I can definitely see the benefits to this type of training. While I doubt that I’d try this (bad knees don’t lend themselves well to hiking with a heavy pack), I wish that my classes in yoga, Pilates or dance could encourage such relationships with my peers.

Exercise trends: Rucking

by Daniel Butler, CEP

Have you heard about rucking? The word “ruck” is short for “rucksack,” a military backpack that soldiers use to carry supplies on their back. Rucking, or ruck marching, refers to walking over paved or unpaved terrain with a loaded rucksack for the purpose of improving your fitness.

The military often uses rucking to measure physical fitness. Many units require a soldier to complete a timed ruck march in order to qualify for the unit. For instance, the U.S. Army Special Forces requires potential recruits to be able to ruck 12 miles in 2 hours with a pack that weighs 65 pounds in order to be eligible for Special Forces Selection. Even after leaving the armed services, some veterans continue to use rucking as a way to remain strong and build social ties while exercising.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: the importance of a good night’s sleep

We frequently get submissions from our member physical therapists that are complete blog posts, rather than information that I’ll shape into a blog entry. Some of them are great. Some are not. And some just need a little help.

As any good editor knows, fixing the really bad pieces is usually easier than tweaking something that just needs a little polish. This piece by Maria (you can compare to the original here) fell into that category. It just needed some fine tuning, to improve readability and to fit into our brand’s writing style.

The importance of a good night’s sleep

by Maria Fermoile, PT, DPT, OCS
Alliance Rehabilitation, Fresno, CA

In today’s world, there are so many demands on our time, pulling us in different directions. It’s often tempting to stay up late or to get up early just to get things done. So why is this bad for us?

Sleep gives our body the chance to maintain and repair our basic systems. Muscles, hormones, the brain and nervous system, the digestive tract — they all need a chance to recuperate from a hard day’s work. This is why a lack of sleep affects both our mental and physical health. It is associated with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and system-wide inflammation. Lack of sleep can also affect our immune system, our cognitive abilities (i.e., our mental capacity), and our mood and mental health.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

ptpn insights: the latest Google update

Every once in a while, I get to work on something in my own wheelhouse. (Un)fortunately, most of this post was already written. I merely searched to find a few newer articles; my source copy had been published about a month ago. That said, I’m glad I got to work on it. It forced me to read up on the topic and figure out what I need to know about Hummingbird for all of my clients, not just PTs.

The latest Google update: What therapy practice owners need to know about Google Hummingbird.

Have you heard about Google Hummingbird? It’s the latest update to Google’s search function, and understanding its impact is crucial to your practice’s online presence.

As you may know, Google updates its algorithm regularly. What makes Hummingbird different is its size and scope — it’s reportedly the largest algorithm update since 2001, and it’s affecting 9 out of 10 online searches. The major change is an emphasis on conversational or context searching, rather than traditional keyword searching. The new algorithm aims to respond to the way web users are searching today, which is less and less by one or two keywords and more and more by longer phrases or complete questions.

Read the full entry at ptpn.com!

ptpn insights: integrating EMR software into your practice

One of the challenges of writing about healthcare is that it is always evolving. While the focus 20 years ago may have been clinical issues, PTs and other clinicians now have to deal more with Medicare, HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act, and EMRs.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that EMRs will be great for healthcare… eventually. With all of our moving around, I’ve had 5 knee surgeries in 4 different cities with 4 different doctors. Trying to gather my records to bring to the next surgeon has been a feat; when we moved to Atlanta and I had to see another new ortho for a strained IT band, I handed him a stack of paper 3 inches thick and a one-page summary of all that I’ve had done. So I can’t wait to be able to access my healthcare records via the cloud, and being able to virtually share them from doctor to doctor.

But getting clinicians and their front office staff on board takes time. Learning new software is always a challenge, especially software that tries to tackle not just virtual charting but also scheduling and billing. I spoke to Stevyn and Andrea to get some advice for our members on how to integrate such software into a PT practice as painlessly as possible.

Integrating EMR software into your practice

Many therapists are grappling with the transition to electronic medical records (or EMRs, also known as electronic health records or EHRs). In July, we revealed a few tips from PTPN members on how to shop for EMR and billing software. This month, Stevyn Voyles, COO and vice president of Progressive Physical Therapy (a PTPN member with four locations in Southern California), and Andrea Cassese, director of PTOS Software for Patterson Medical (a Preferred Vendor for PTPN), give readers some advice when preparing to integrate such software into their practices.

Before we begin, Stevyn, what type of EMR system do you use?
SV: After being a testing site for four different EMR systems and trying out at least 10, we considered ourselves pretty knowledgeable about what a system should do, what it shouldn’t and what we wanted. Needless to say, we are a demanding group. Our goal was to find a system that would help us chart faster, be more complete (that is, compliance-driven), and integrate with billing.

Most of the open architecture systems relied on too much open data entry for our taste. We decided against them because regulations are ever-changing, and we don’t want our PTs to be caught short just because they forgot to dot an “i” or cross a “t.” That’s why we focused on compliance-driven software that used drop-down menus to help PTs choose the right codes for billing, PQRS, etc. There’s still data entry and the ability to free-type, but less room for error.

The program we decided on is an ASP access program, software that is accessed via the internet. Though we have the ability to bring the program in-house and host a server for ourselves, a web-based solution works well for us because we have four different clinic locations.

Read the full entry at ptpn.com!

physiquality blog: the basics of bicycle safety

Every once in a while, I get a full post from one of our physical therapist contributors vs. short answers to the questions I submit. This post was a prime example, full of great tips and just needing some polish (and shorter paragraphs). I would definitely follow these suggestions if I didn’t think I’d crash into a tree just by looking at a bike (my history with two-wheeled self-ambulatory vehicles is not the best…).

The basics of bicycle safety

by Alison Mason, PT, DPT
and Nathan Humphrey

Warm weather is here and it’s the perfect time to ride a bike instead of hopping into the car to run errands. But before you jump into that saddle bicycle seat, remember that adults and children alike should be cautious when riding a bicycle at all times and in all environments. Here are a few things to remember.

As adults, we often forget the safety rules of biking, or neglect to follow what our parents taught us. Even as adults it is necessary to follow these simple safety rules:

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

ptpn insights: how to calculate your cost of doing business, part 2

As with part 1 on financial know-how, this is a piece where I was more an editor than a writer. Along with my boss, Stephen, we edited an hour-long conversation on understanding a clinic’s bottom line into two separate blog posts. The first focused on why business owners should understand the finances of their company. The second, excerpted below, looks more at how this can be achieved.

How to calculate your cost of doing business: A Q&A with Michael Weinper, PTPN CEO and President, part 2

We recently sat down with PTPN CEO and President Michael Weinper, PT, DPT, M.P.H., to discuss calculating the cost of doing business. Michael is also the owner of Progressive Physical Therapy, a private practice with four locations in Southern California. In part 1, published two weeks ago, we discussed why you should know the cost of doing business in your clinic. Today’s post looks at how to calculate your cost of doing business.

What is the most important cost that an owner of a clinic should know?
You need to know the basic cost per visit you need to cover in order to stay in business. The basic cost could be defined as taking all of your expenses that you have in a year, and dividing them by the number of visits during the year. This is crude, but it’s also very easy to calculate. It can be done by any period of time — week, month or year.

Your cost per visit can vary month-to-month, and it will, because if you treat more patients while your other expenses (labor, rent, etc.) stay constant, your cost per visit will go down during that month. On the other hand, if you have fewer visits, your cost per visit will go up.

Read the full entry at ptpn.com!

ptpn insights: why you should know your cost of doing business, part 1

This is another piece where I was more an editor than a writer. PTPN’s CEO and President, Michael Weinper, has more than 40 years of experience as a practice owner and business manager. We talked for about an hour about financial management and best practices for understanding your clinic’s bottom line. Along with my boss, Stephen, we edited the conversation into two separate blog posts. The first, excerpted below, focuses on why business owners should understand the finances of their company. The second, which will be posted in a couple of weeks, will look more at how this can be achieved.

Why you should know your cost of doing business: A Q&A with Michael Weinper, PTPN CEO and President, part 1

With personal taxes having been filed and spring around the corner, it’s a good time to take a look at whether your business is fiscally healthy. We recently sat down with PTPN CEO and President Michael Weinper, PT, DPT, M.P.H., to discuss calculating the cost of doing business. Michael is also the owner of Progressive Physical Therapy, a private practice with four locations in Southern California. He gave us so much information that it will be published in two posts: today’s discussing why you should know the cost of doing business in your clinic, and our next post on how to calculate your cost of doing business.

Why is it important for a practice owner to know the cost of doing business?
Every business has a necessary primary goal: To make a profit. If a business doesn’t make a profit, it can’t stay in existence for very long. Furthermore, most small businesses spend all the money they make every year, so they don’t have any reserves to fall back on. It’s keenly important to know what your cost of doing business is, as you make multiple decisions in your practice that have an impact on profit.

Read the full entry at ptpn.com!