You don’t need me to tell you that there’s a lot of work involved in being a speech language pathologist. Regardless of whether your patients are of the pediatric or geriatric variety, your clinic’s efficiency can improve by leaps and bounds when you’re equipped with the right EMR tools. That said, your choice of speech therapy EMR software is crucial to the growth and success of your practice. So, it’s important to avoid some of the more garden variety options out there and stick with something that incorporates these 6 must-have EMR tools.
1) Appointment scheduling
Electronic appointment scheduling is essential to speech language therapists—especially in the case of practices that employ multiple providers. The ability for providers to schedule their appointments in a shared calendar plays a big role in keeping everyone on the same page.
But, it often falls upon the office administrator to schedule appointments for providers. When they’re booking into an electronic calendar, they’re able to record important appointment details that have the potential to be lost in the shuffle. Electronic scheduling is even more important for SLPs when you consider the fact that many of the appointments don’t take place in a clinical setting: they happen in educational institutions, retirement homes, and at home.
2) Electronic billing for SLPs
I’ve noticed that many speech language pathologists who work with children often find themselves billing the referring school board directly. In such cases, and those that require you to submit claims to payors, you’re required to include specific details about the treatment provided in order for your clinic to receive reimbursement. A good speech language therapy EMR software will let you know if there’s any missing information that will prevent you from getting paid.
3) Reporting system
An integrated reporting system lets management generate reports on your clinic’s key operational data on a whim. For example, your software can help you identify underperforming referral sources, accounts receivable, and compile reconciliation reports at the end of the workday. Reporting might not be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of a good SLP EMR software but rest assured that it is closely tied to the business side of your clinic.
4) Patient profiles
Every patient is unique—you see evidence of that everyday. As such, every patient needs their own unique profile that speaks to them and their needs. Patient profiles are extremely useful for recording things like their medical history, appointment history, and more personal things like their birthday, their likes, and their dislikes. This is especially helpful in the case of pediatric clients where sometimes the only way to build a rapport with them is by going beyond the classroom or the clinic and connecting with them on a personal level.
Click here to read our article “Pop culture’s place in speech therapy for children.”
Note that patient profiles are super important in the case of pediatric patients whose treatment is being covered under their parents’ or guardians’ health insurance plan. Practice Perfect allows you to record parent and guardian information right on the patient’s profile.
5) Contact logs
In addition to patient profiles, speech language therapists may find it useful to use an EMR software that can create and store contact logs. Office administrators tend to spend a fair amount of time on the phone scheduling, adjusting, and confirming appointments. And keeping track of each and every conversation is a true challenge. A good speech therapy EMR software comes complete with an integrated contact log that makes things like recording conversation details and setting follow up reminders a breeze.
6) Clinical documentation for speech language pathologists
Nearly all SLPs are required to fill out clinical documentation after treatment sessions. Whether it’s drafting generic SOAP notes or prescribing detailed treatment plans, it’s important to find an EMR software that has integrated these features—they’ve become a must-have tool for the modern day SLP.