Occupational Therapy EMR: Need to Have VS. Nice to Have Features

If you’re an occupational therapist there’s a good chance that you’ve spent some time checking out the different EMR software available to you. No doubt, there are a lot well-equipped EMR systems out there with bushels of features, but do they include all of the core functions that you need to run your practice? And to add to that—what’s even considered a core function of occupational therapy EMR software?

 

Whenever I’m planning a purchase, regardless of whether it’s something small like a pair of boots, or something big like a vehicle, I like to do my due diligence. I need to know what the various options are bringing to the table, and more importantly, I need to know what makes them unique. After years of researching, for school, for work, and for myself, I’ve whittled my comparisons down to two categories; need to have, and nice to have. I hope that this article can help you apply the same principle to your choice of occupational therapy EMR software.

 

So what comes to mind when you think of features that your EMR software needs to have? Are you a fan of electronic appointment scheduling? How about integrated clinical notes? And where does electronic billing rank on your list? I’m inclined to think that all of these qualify as need to have features for the modern occupational therapy practice—but then again, I work at Practice Perfect and our software includes all of these features in the base price so admittedly, I’m a little bit biased. But after some research, I’ve compiled this short list of features that your occupational therapy EMR software needs to have:

 

Client profiles

 

Medical records are complicated. Albeit, they’re a little less complicated when every patient in your practice has their own separate client profile. It helps when you’re able to keep all of their demographic information, contact information, and insurance information under one roof.

 

Scheduling

 

Clinics with multiple therapists, especially those with more than one office location, or treatment providers who work offsite, stand to gain a lot from using a software that incorporates electronic scheduling in the process flow. Occupational therapy EMR software like Practice Perfect allows you to include everything you need to know about an appointment including the incident(s) your patients will be receiving treatment for, the nature of the treatment, and where they’ll be receiving it.

 

Billing

 

Once upon a time this might have been one of those features that was nice to have—most would have considered it a luxury to bill their patients and payors electronically! But, I think that the intricacies of today’s billing requirements have fashioned electronic billing into a must-have feature for occupational therapy EMR software.  For example, some payors won’t think twice about denying a claim due to incomplete progress notes. And wouldn’t it be nice if your software warned you about incomplete notes before letting you try to submit an invoice?

 

Reporting

 

Reporting goes hand in hand with the billing component of your software. When your clinic sees handfuls of patients daily, juggling their financial information, their clinical information, and everything in between can be a major challenge. It’s in situations like these where things like outstanding payments can fall through the cracks but having an integrated reporting system at your disposal helps curb these issues and ensure that everyone holds their end of the bargain.

 

Marketing tools

 

Marketing revolves around building relationships. It’s not just about clever gimmicks and staying top of mind—it’s about creating a conversation with them that and letting them know they’re valued. A nice way of doing this is by sending birthday messages or appointment reminders to let patients know that you haven’t forgotten about them, and you’re looking forward to seeing them again. Practice Perfect chose to include these functions in our software with the hope of helping you foster lasting relationships with your patients.