How to Select Physical Therapy Practice Management Software | WRAP | Part I

By Yuval Lirov, PhD and Shecanna Seeley, PT

physical-therapy-software-selectionShannon, a mother of two and an owner of a mid-size Physical Therapy practice, must juggle many priorities: she has a husband and two wonderful children, an 8-year old boy and a 5-year old girl. She is a Physical Therapist and she cares for her patients. She also owns a practice across three separate locations she started about five years ago. And now she has a dilemma.

Shannon is agonizing about replacing her physical therapy billing software.  Over the past year, her billing software suffered several outages, the vendor asked extra fees for upgrades, and the new biller she hired was unfamiliar with it and required expensive retraining.

Unfortunately, replacing the billing software would cause problems in the short-term.  The local database has accumulated patient records and claims for the past 10 years. Besides, Shannon knows this physical therapy software like the back of her hand, she feels comfortable using it, and she really has no time to start learning new billing software features or changing the workflow of her office to take advantage of the features available in the new software.

What would you advise her to do?  Should she replace her physical therapy billing software or not?

Most billing software vendors try to help you by offering a decision table approach, which is a glorified pros-and-cons analysis. It’s familiar. It makes lots of sense. Yet it is wrong.

Brothers Heath describe four most pernicious villains of decision making and a process to counteract their influence:

  1. You encounter a choice. But narrow framing makes you miss options.
  2. You analyze your options. But your bias leads you to gather self-serving data.
  3. You make a choice. But your emotion tempts you to make a wrong choice.
  4. Then you live with it. But you are overconfident about the future scenario.

So to make the right choice, you need to use WRAP:

  1. Widen your choice – take a different perspective.
  2. Reality-test your assumptions
  3. Attain distance before deciding
  4. Prepare to be wrong

Read the next part of this series on physical therapy software selection on our bestPT blog next week!


1. Chip Heath  and Dan Heath,   Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Crown Business; 2013
2. Yuval Lirov and Shecanna Seely, “How to Select the Best Physical Therapy Software for Your Office,” Impact APTA PPS, August 2013, pp. 46-50.