We live in a world that is increasingly going digital. Despite this, many pediatric therapists and clinic managers are still doing their work primarily on paper. Why is this?
Some do it because it seems more affordable than investing in technology and software (spoiler alert: it's not). Others continue to work on paper simply because it's the way they've always done it. There's also a group of people who are unaware that software exists that was made specifically to help pediatric therapists and practices succeed.
If you fall into any of those groups, then we would encourage you to consider swapping from paper filing and documenting to practice management software. There are a lot of benefits that can save you time, money, and headaches.
1. Make audits less stressful
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software makes audits less stressful. When you've got a limited amount of time to look for the right files, a paper-based solution can be quite overwhelming. But an EMR allows you to quickly find the right document without having to manually pull files one by one and verify them.
2. Save time
From faster collaboration with other therapists to finding important documents more conveniently, an EMR can save you lots of time. It will speed up your documentation process to allow you to do more with the time you have.
If any of these benefits are things you want to take advantage of, a great next step would be to check out our EMR Buyer's Guide that will help you make sure you get an EMR that fits your needs. Also, you can look around our site to see the clinic management software we make that is designed just for pediatric therapists.
3. Be more secure
HIPAA violations are no joke. Anything you can do to be more compliant is a worthwhile investment. A pediatric therapy clinic that is primarily paper-based could be more at risk than one that uses anEMR like Fusion.
For instance, a paper-based clinic has to have large filing cabinets that must be locked. Pediatric therapists must remember to lock and unlock the cabinet, and it could be easy to forget.
There can also be an increased level of fear and anxiety related to taking files and documentation outside of the building.
Unfortunately, pediatric therapists sometimes must work remotely to get all their documentation completed. If they work in a paper-based clinic, that means they're transporting physical, confidential material that could fall into the wrong hands if it were misplaced or forgotten.
With an EMR, all of your documentation and files are stored securely in the cloud. You can access them anywhere you have an internet connection, and you never have to worry about leaving them in the wrong place.
4. Increased legibility.
If your penmanship is bad or you have to hurry through documentation sometimes, then it's going to be harder for other people to read what you've written. This can be a huge problem when it comes to billing. If a payer has to spend more than a couple of minutes trying to decipher your handwriting, then they might give up and request more documentation or clarification. This will cost you more time in the long run.
With an EMR, all of your documentation, filing, and goal tracking is legible and easily accessible. It makes collaborating with coworkers easier and your interactions with payers more professional and seamless.
5. Less prone to disasters.
We don't ever expect it will happen to us, but we can never be certain that a disaster won't strike. Whether it's a fire, a flood, or a tornado, if a major disaster were to hit a paper-based pediatric therapy clinic, there is an increased potential to lose important documents.
With an EMR, all of your documents can be stored in the cloud where they will be safe from fires, floods, or tornadoes.
6. More efficient document transportation.
What happens in a paper-based clinic when a payer comes back saying there is insufficient documentation? Usually it means you must go searching for the right documents, locate them in your cabinets, make copies, and then send it out. Some therapists even have to keep a log of every document they send out.
But with an EMR, this process is more streamlined. You can quickly search for the exact document you need within the software and share it from there. There's no hassle, and you can do it from almost anywhere. A paper-based clinic can't do that!
Have You Outgrown Paper Documentation?
If your clinic is beginning to struggle with paper documentation, it's probably time to look into an EMR.
As a pediatric therapist, you'll need to find an EMR with features that help you meet the challenges of pediatric therapy (without irrelevant features that get in the way).
We've created a guide for pediatric therapists that covers the features you'll need to continue to grow your clinic.