ptpn insights: are you pulling new patients into your clinic, or pushing them away without realizing it?

While I’ve been recommending a lot of these tactics, especially web optimization and building up content on your site, it was interesting to see the broader picture of how consumers find business. I agreed with our expert Joy Scott, of Scott Public Relations, that people are no longer finding out about new companies through the older methods — just about everything is researched online in some way.

As a business owner, you want to make sure that you’re putting the content out there so that people will find you when they’re looking for a new service provider. Rather than “pushing” information out, you’re building up web content in order to have people discover and “pull” it for themselves, to read and learn about your business before calling for an appointment or visiting your store.

Are you pulling new patients into your clinic, or pushing them away without realizing it?

What worked in marketing five years ago, or even two or three, would most likely not work for most consumers today. What’s the difference?

How people gather information. While old stand-bys like direct mail might still bring new people into your clinic, most people get their information on new businesses by searching online and, increasingly, on their smartphone or tablet. To get the attention of new clients, you’ll have to go where they’ll be looking.

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ptpn insights: transition planning for your physical therapy practice

As the population ages, so too do small business owners, trying to figure out what to do with their business as they retire. As a network for privately-owned physical therapy clinics, usually with only one or two locations, PTPN tries to help members navigate the trials of small business ownership, including transition planning. This post came out of a poll that PTPN did with its owners on how soon to start planning and how they planned to transition the business to other owners.

Transition planning for your physical therapy practice: Are you ready to retire? Is your practice?

With the calendar year coming to a close, many private practice owners are preparing for 2014. What about the longer term? Have you considered what will happen to your practice when you decide to retire?

PTPN recently surveyed the therapist owners of its member practices about their thoughts and experiences regarding transitions plans for their practices. Here’s some of what we found:

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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: developing stronger revenue streams and healthier communities

Sometimes writing is all about speaking to your audience. With October being National Physical Therapy Month, at PTPN we wanted to focus on all of the specialty programs offered by PTs, educating the public about what they can find at their local physical therapy office and encouraging PTs to start such programs if they haven’t already.

So while last week’s post was geared toward the general public and health/wellness consumers, this week’s post was giving tips to PTs and clinic owners on developing cash-pay and specialty programs. The information was from the same interviews, but the message is completely different.

Developing stronger revenue streams and healthier communities: Lessons learned from private practice owners

October 2013 — National Physical Therapy Month

As Americans’ health and wellness needs evolve, so does the role of the physical therapist — and so do practice owners’ opportunities to develop new sources of revenue.

For example, with wellness and exercise programs continuing to be in high demand as Baby Boomers age, physical therapists are ideally suited to help people of all ages and fitness levels reach their wellness goals. As the medical community’s leading experts in helping people improve the way their bodies work, feel and move, many PTs are expanding their range of services, focusing on both prevention of and recovery from injury and illness. This expansion not only increases options for patients, it is critical for the future of private practice therapy, as we described in a blog post earlier this year.

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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!