4 Ways To Digitize Your Physical Therapy Practice
Physical therapists and other allied medical professions have previously demonstrated strong resistance to digital transformation. PT practitioners continued to insist on conducting their therapy sessions purely through face-to-face interaction. They prescribed that all therapy sessions should be in their clinics and rehabilitation facilities.
Recent events have immensely contributed to the rethinking of numerous physical therapy (PT) practitioners. This has been hastened further by the explosion of digital and social media marketing. Hence, if you’re thinking of how to adapt to the digital transformation trend, you might want to consider using digital intake forms for your new patients.
Here are some ways to digitize your physical therapy practice:
- Practice Management
One of the things you can do to digitize your physical therapy practice is to adopt the latest physical therapy practice management system. You can start your digitization by putting out digital forms where interested parties or prospective patients can type in their personal details before being scheduled for a digital PT consultation session.
Some businesses and even professionals employ customer relationship management (CRM) software systems. These have customizable templates for PT practice. Other practice management software applications are designed specifically for clinical practice or PT.
- Digital PT Consultation
You can also digitize the consultation sessions in your PT practice. Previously, physical therapists have strongly resisted the holding of digital consultations as an alternative to physical visits. They insisted on physical presence because the therapy to be prescribed and performed was essentially physical.
The strict observance of social distancing measures these past two years has forced PT practitioners to rethink their insistence on physical visits. They had to find a way to continue with their consultation visits and therapy sessions even though people weren’t allowed to leave their homes.
The commonplace use of smartphones and video cameras has made added the conduct of PT through digital interaction easier. When combined, these heightened the persuasiveness of shifting to digital PT consultations. Some practitioners even coined the term ‘digi-physical’ consultations.
Some PT practitioners currently say that digital consultations are more suitable for specific clinical tasks than physical interaction. They think that certain routines, such as surveys, measurements, monitoring, and analysis, can be done better through digital consultation. Moreover, the availability and pervasive use of videoconferencing apps made the prescription of physical exercises through online digital consultations more convenient.
- Social Media Marketing
Another aspect of PT practice that you can digitize is how you promote your practice and your methods to attract more patients. Social media platforms have empowered startups and small firms to reach a wider audience and attract more prospective clients.
Small clinics can widen their reach with a social media page, even outside the city location of their physical therapy clinic. Some are even able to attract inquiries from prospective out-of-state patients. Photo-sharing and microblogging platforms have enabled them to share pictures and videos of their physical clinics, therapy equipment, and rehab facilities.
Moreover, the PT practices with numerous clinics in multiple states have benefited from their intensive social media marketing campaigns.
- Digital Appointments Confirmation
You can also digitize your PT practice by putting up a digital appointment confirmation page that you can set up on your website. You can also post it on your social media page with a backlink to your website page.
This will give your patients the convenience of looking up the available appointment slots on your calendar on their own. They can choose an appointment slot based on their available time but are limited to the options provided by the clinic. This frees up your staff from the daily task of manually coordinating the assignment of appointment slots.
From your end, this will enable your staff to track the prospective patients who have made inquiries but haven’t selected an appointment slot yet. You’ll also see all those who canceled their appointments and consider sending them follow-through emails. This will increase both your leads-to-patients conversion rate and your appointments booking rate. The bottom line here is that having your current and would-be patients choose and set their slots by themselves will lead to more appointments and earnings in the long run.
The PT practice is one of the professions that have been significantly affected by the social distancing protocols these past two years. PT practitioners were left with no choice but to innovate when most of their patients weren’t allowed to go out of their homes. The good thing is that technology was already available back then, so they managed and kept up with their patient schedules. To this day, the support provided by digital consultations is very much appreciated.