"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Computer costs for physical therapy falling

Physical therapy computer costs are falling. Mine especially.

This article from CNN Money talks about the Obama stimulus plan and the huge expense of training the labor force to implement a computerized health infrastructure.

$100 billion of the $800 billion Obama stimulus plan is proposed to be spent on making all health records standard and electronic by 2014.

17% of physicians and physical therapists now use electronic medical records. 8% of all hospitals use them.

We started a new electronic medical records system last week at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc. in Manatee County, Florida.

Costs have really come down.

The first system I priced two years ago was $60,000 and I would have had to buy two servers to host it all.

The system I bought in December 2008 cost $4,800 and we are up and running in two weeks. It's called Clinic Controller by A2C Medical.

I'll blog my results regularly to keep the physical therapy community updated on our efforts.

We set it up ourselves (I paid an IT guy 2 thousand to configure the system and set the backups - I think I overpaid).

Now, I'm building templates of my
  1. Evaluation

  2. Progress Notes

  3. Daily Notes

  4. Re-certification Notes

  5. Superbill

  6. Patient schedule/calendar

The system is quick and intuitive.

I'm sure I haven't seen the glitches yet or the workarounds that inevitably come with any mechanical device but we're better off than we were with our old DOS-based system (yes, DOS).

We are running both systems in tandem for the time being.

Today, we shut down the old scheduling system but we still have to collect money and post accounts to the old system, probably for three-to-six more months.

I wont see any increase in revenue by switching but I guess I'm getting ready for the new health care infrastructure from the Obama administration.

I figure we'll have our new computers running smoothly before Obama has fixed the health care system.

Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

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