The schedules of physical therapists tend to be extremely busy. With the digital age being in full swing, your attention and focus can be pulled in many different directions affecting overall productivity.
Here are 7 tips to help improve your productivity throughout the day as a therapist:
Start the day with simple mindfulness practice:
Whether it be to take a few deep breaths, pray or meditate for a while upon waking up take some time to be calm. Don’t roll over and grab your phone.
Organize your day efficiently:
Your brain is most likely more clear and fresh in the morning. Schedule complex tasks in the morning. Move simple tasks to the afternoon whenever possible. Stay organized throughout the day and maintain a clean work environment You will be more productive if you are less distracted by a physical or digital mess around you. Try to keep your physical work area clean which would include your therapy bag to carry all your supplies, your car, and your paperwork. Also, try to keep your digital work area clean. Delete unnecessary emails, apps or files. Reduce clutter as much as possible on your home screen.
Create a culture of timeliness:
If you have a lax attitude about your clinic’s schedule, your staff and patients will follow and that opens up the door for lollygagging employees and lots of canceled appointments and no-shows. Show you mean business by making a genuine effort to stick to the schedule. If you’re swamped, don’t get hung up on time-sucking tasks that you can tackle later, once things settle down. In short, respect the time of others, and they will return the favor.
Setup a process:
Once you’ve fine-tuned your routine, educate staff and patients about what you expect from them. This is especially helpful for repeat clients; once a patient learns the drill, he or she will move through it quickly on subsequent visits. You don’t want anyone—especially your patients—to feel rushed, but you don’t have to be a drill sergeant to keep things moving. Prep therapy areas ahead of time and make sure all necessary supplies are out and ready to go. Don’t let patients stand around and twiddle their thumbs after they arrive. You can do the same for billing team also- try to bill at the end of every day. If daily billing is not a doable expectation in your practice, just select a timeframe and stick to it.
Document at point of care:
One mistake many practitioners make is documenting at the end of the day. This practice creates a chunk of non-billable time. A good practice is to document at the point of care. Collaborate with the patient while you document. Assess progress towards goals, provide education and create a new treatment plan with the patient. The key to this practice is collaboration; the patient must be involved in this process in order to be billable.
Schedule smaller team meetings when possible and delegate tasks. Limit the number of people to attend group meetings. This cuts down on some people just sitting there for extended periods of time being unproductive if their opinion if not needed. When in a meeting, delegate one person to be directly responsible for each task to make it clear who needs to complete each action item. Also, make sure that a single employee is responsible for a certain task, avoid sharing work. This is not a relay race; passing around a task like it’s a baton will only lead to mistakes and wasted effort.
Take technology advantage:
Using an EMR system is a huge time-saver on its own, also pairing it with the right tools will raise your clinic’s efficiency to the next level. Most of today’s programs and devices are super intuitive and user-friendly. Consider investing in tablets—iPads are by far the most popular—for your therapists and assistants so they can access patient charts and flow sheets anytime.