Let’s talk about challenging factors that healthcare providers go through every day, especially physical therapists. Improving efficiency without compromising quality of care is on top of the list. With the growing demand to maximize healthcare costs, professionals often try to hit a historic quota of seeing a certain # of patients per week or per day. US health spending reached $3.5 trillion in 2017, or $10,739 per capita, and accounted for 17.9% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Physical therapists help their patients improve their mobility, get back on their feet after a surgery, deal with chronic and acute pain, and improve overall quality of life. This process of building a trusting relationship with these patients takes time and improving efficiency in this case can be a hard job to do when the quality of the service is in question. But even if being efficient is a key point, it’s even more critical to have balance between seeing more patients and providing the best care possible.
Technology can be a great ally to healthcare providers.
Today’s working standards have been pushing a new trend: to spend less quality time with patients due to a higher workload. The results are an impressive growing rate of burnout throughout the industry. Technology, more than ever, has become essential in saving time by performing evaluations and gathering measurements faster than ever before, leaving more time for PTs to spend quality time with their patients. There are also plenty of new software solutions available to help administrate the bureaucracy regarding the treatment itself. Documentation is an extremely important part of the work and gathering patients’ info can be easily done digitally in an efficient way.
Creating a system
Creating an efficient system that streamlines processes are extremely important to professionals that need to optimize time. The stress of the job, high demand and low control decreases the probability of having good outcomes. So, how exactly does one create a system for this process? Well-organized PTs usually have two methods they follow to increase efficiency without compromising the quality of care.
The first method is to form optimal rapport. Chris Voss of the Black Swan Group recommends mirroring, labeling, and asking open-ended questions. In order to build rapport in a timely matter, mirror the patients’ verbal and non-verbal actions. A good example is after a patient say how frustrated he/she is due to a lumbar pain, you can answer: “it seems that your lumbar pain is very frustrating”. Listen to what your patient replies, and you can ask a good open question like: “how do you think we can work through this?” or “what do you think will make it better?”. Both open questions will facilitate a fast rapport and will confirm that you listened to your patient’s concerns.
The second method is staying on top of the current evidence. Whenever you deviate from evidence-based practice it can slow you down and take a mental toll on you. For every treatment you create, follow an evidence-based method. If you have a top-grade protocol to treat knee tear lesions that work with the majority of your patients. Stick with this protocol, the effort you will make to change the exercises at the moment will take a mental energy that can decelerate you.
It’s evident that PTs more than ever are feeling the pressure to be efficient. Although being efficient is not a bad thing, we know how vital it is to spend time with patients and provide a good quality of care. MIO helps PTs to speed up the evaluation’s measurements using state-of-the-art wearable technology and delivers accurate data while gathering patients’ information in the app.
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