There are multiple challenges these days in health care involving the balance of efficiency and providing the best possible care. Facilities are emphasizing productivity metrics which are sending patient throughput demands through the roof. Therapists are worrying that the quality of care suffers when they are required to do more continually. The pressure on your team of physical therapists to be efficient is higher than ever. However, spending quality time with patients is still the best way to provide the best patient care. Consider these three ways of helping your physical therapists manage their ever-increasing patient load.
3 Ways To Help Your Physical Therapist Manage Their Patient Load
Strike a Balance
Your physical therapy team guides their patients through care, including hands-on treatment and teaching special exercises to help patients move and function better. The process takes time to develop a relationship of trust with patients. Although productivity is an essential consideration in practice, there must be a balance between the need for more patients and allowing physical therapists more time for the best patient outcomes. You must consider ways to optimize therapists’ professional time to improve individual patient outcomes, improve populations’ health and reduce the costs, so quality is as prized as quantity.
Shorter patient interactions are now the norm, and this is evident in the current economy. Physical therapists’ unfortunate consequence is burnout due to higher patient load resulting from decreases in patients’ treatment times. However, there are occasions when technology can reduce administrative tension and give therapists the time to focus on patient care that is high quality while meeting quantitative metrics.
Physical therapists must document every treatment encounter, so it is essential to have technology that can remove administrative burdens that add to an already overburdened schedule. Most physical therapists do not enjoy doing paperwork, but it is part of being a health care practitioner. Documenting therapy is a critical duty of physical therapists to collect information and present the patient’s story. Thanks to superior technology, documentation no longer needs to be a distressing process that is a tremendous burden. Furthermore, providers can gain time back when using tools to observe the care they are providing quickly.
Create an Efficient System
Streamlined processes are beneficial for therapists whose time is restricted. One way is to build an optimal rapport that includes mirroring, labeling, and asking open-ended questions. A therapist can quickly build rapport in a short amount of time when they mirror a patient’s verbal and non-verbal actions. After explaining a statement, the therapist can speak back to the patient using the correct emotion. Good open-ended questions facilitate a speedy interpersonal connection that ensures the therapist is hearing and understanding the patient’s concerns. This process allows the therapist to prescribe a course of care.
Another way is to stay on top of current evidence. Deviating from evidence-based practice takes up vital mental resources and slows therapists down. You can create an evidence-based system for every potential treatment surprise. By not shifting away from the system and creating exercises, therapists can reserve their mental energy and get more done in less time.
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