Robot to the Rescue?

Physical Therapy Software improves office workflowRobot to the Rescue?

Automating processes can help ease office tension

What would a tech solution look like?

Shannon took a deep breath. She had gathered her team again, and this time she had everyone’s attention.

“I know yesterday’s meeting didn’t go that well,” she started, “and I appreciate everyone’s coming back today. I want us to approach the issues differently.”

The faces in front of her were wary.

“Instead of looking for who’s at fault, let’s imagine a tool that would be perfect for us.”

“How ‘bout a robot that would do all the office work for us?” suggested Tana.

watch the workflow webinar recodring now

“Don’t try to put me out of work,” Theresa objected. “You’d miss me!”

Shannon was glad that the team was taking a lighter tone. “We would definitely miss you. So not a robot, but what if there were some way to use technology to help? What would it have to be like?”

“Easy to use.” “Easy to learn.” That came from all over the room.

“We can learn to use software,” Theresa said, “but it would be great if there was just one thing to learn, not a whole bunch of different things that only sort of work together.”

Shannon wrote on the markerboard. “So, an integrated, turnkey solution.”

“It should be set up so we can all use it,” Roger said. Shannon knew that Roger ended up doing most of the billing. The better he got at it, the more others relied on him. “If one person answers the phone, they should be able to find the information and answer a question. They shouldn’t have to send the call to someone else.”

Shannon heard muttering from some of the others, but Theresa jumped in. “I agree! I hate it when I can’t find the information to answer a question. I don’t like to look incompetent.”

“It reflects badly on the practice,” Tana agreed. “It shouldn’t be like the days when we had to look on every desk to find the folder. Everyone who needs the information should be able to find it, and it should be hard to make a mistake.”

There was laughter at that remark, but Shannon wrote it on the board. That made sense.

“I want to be able to use my phone, too,” said Tana. She was getting excited. “I’m in the room with the patients. There’s no reason I should have to go to the office and borrow a computer for every little thing.”

There was a lot of agreement at that. “I don’t like to have to come in just to get information to solve someone’s problem,“ Shannon chimed in.

watch the workflow webinar recodring now

“All of that’s good,” Roger said, “but we have to get back to ‘easy to use.’ And we have to admit that one person’s idea of easy might not be another person’s easy.”

Shannon frowned. Roger was right. With people of different ages and backgrounds, just looking for something easy to use might not really be the solution. “Maybe we need training.”

“And coaches!” added Roger. As laughter filled the room again, Roger insisted, “I’m serious. Why can’t we have somebody who can help us learn it? Or help us get the most out of it.”

“Or help us when we’re about to tear out our hair,” added Tana.

“Okay,” Shannon beamed. “We know what we’re looking for.”

She thanked everyone as they gathered their cell phones and coffee cups and got to work. As usual, Theresa was the one who stayed to help her clean up, but they were happy as they pushed in chairs and picked up paper napkins.

“We might not be able to get a robot,” Shannon said, “but the right software really could make a difference.”

What would a tech solution look like?

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14 replies
  1. Yuval Lirov
    Yuval Lirov says:

    Shannon needs an easy way to manage her practice workflow. Tasks must be assignable, transparent, and provide accountability to optimize practice performance and increase profitability.

    Insurance companies hit us time and again
    First NPI and now – ICD-10
    Can you get by without task-based workflow Zen?

  2. Andrew Kropff
    Andrew Kropff says:

    Software for PTs has to have different parts that work together in order to be considered a solution. Otherwise it is just software. Any one can offer billing and EHR. What Shannon needs is teamwork. Not just among her staff, but a team of experts that have her back and help her stay focused on the big picture. Training, support, and coaching are non-technology parts of a complete tech solution.

  3. Astrid Bidanec
    Astrid Bidanec says:

    The best software in the world won’t help Shannon’s practice if her staff won’t commit to learning how to use it effectively. That said, everyone has to track and automate their tasks to foster accountability and transparency. Physical Therapy Software that is limited to billing and documentation won’t solve Shannon’s workflow issues.

  4. David
    David says:

    Solutions exist. Practices such as Shannon’s just need to sit down and figure out what it is they’re looking for and, rather than settling for the first — or cheapest — solution they come across, should instead take some time to find the RIGHT package… one that does everything they need.

  5. Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes says:

    Robots are not available in practice management yet, but knowing which tasks can be automated or even outsourced can only happen AFTER you identify them. I know that the first step is to work with a system that has done this for you.

    The only question is, who do you trust to tell you which system that is?

  6. Eldad De-Medonsa
    Eldad De-Medonsa says:

    The fact that Shannon’s staff are happy to look at possible technologies and willing to learn new stuff, is already a big step forward.

  7. George Konold
    George Konold says:

    Shannon and her staff were brainstorming what their ideal tech solution would look like and they listed the various features above. Then they expanded their solution beyond cloud based software that could be accessed from anywhere, to identifying the need for training and a coach to help them get the most help from the software system. New software plus experts behind the scenes to help them sounds like the ideal practice management solution to me.

  8. Thomas Jorno
    Thomas Jorno says:

    Obviously the technology is important, but the relationship you have with the company providing and supporting that technology is critical.

    Do you trust them?
    Do they share your goals?
    Can you communicate with them freely and honestly, and do they value and listen to your feedback?

    Everyone now has experience where they’ve had a wonderfully powerful piece of technology, but they didn’t know how to use it effectively. Too often, once the sale is closed or your account is set up, companies lose interest.

    A great product has to come with great support.

  9. Michelle Corrigan
    Michelle Corrigan says:

    Having the staff moving forward with the same goals is a great start. Together Shannon’s team has brainstormed the ideal solution. While a mistake proof solution is impossible, including a Coach as part of the package will be the ideal solution, not only to assist when mistakes are made or training is needed, but to help the practice set and reach their goals.

  10. Robin Kortman
    Robin Kortman says:

    Changing technology can be overwhelming for practice and staff, implementing a system that offers integrated workflow, with a coach to support the practice toward achieving their goals.

  11. Heather Miller
    Heather Miller says:

    What Shannon needs is a practice management software that includes Coaching so that she has the automation with a personalized touch. That way you can have the best of both worlds by allowing the system to find the work for you while still having a live person to give advice.

  12. Lisette Acevedo
    Lisette Acevedo says:

    What this practice is in need of is something that will incorporate total workflow. The statement “it needs to be hard to make a mistake” is right. What they need is a software that will eliminate the question of what it is that needs to be done next.

  13. Amy
    Amy says:

    An integrated, all-in-one practice management solution, with coaching, automation and workflow is what the team is looking for. How do you know where to start to find exactly what will fit your practice’s and staff’s needs?

Comments are closed.