The world of physical therapy is becoming harder and harder. Therapists are expected to see more patients in a shorter amount of time AND produce better outcomes. This does not even mention the documentation requirements, new environment of COVID, Telehealth etc.. Reimbursement for services has continued to decline over the years, and it looks like more Medicare cuts are on the horizon for 2021. That being said, the work physical therapists do is so vitally important for patients and their long term positive outcomes. There is also still a good business model that can be fruitful if carefully planned and executed. Equipment absolutely plays a role in this.
We have compiled a FREE guide that will help you make the best decisions when outfitting your physical therapy practice.
1) Space: Determine how much space is available for equipment. Select an equipment vendor that has the capability of giving you an outline or drawing to ensure proper space alignment and flow within the clinic.
2) Data Collection: Tracking progress and objective outcomes for patients is more important than ever for physical therapists. At times, data collection and progress reports is vital to ensuring reimbursement percentages. Think of society as a whole and how we are constantly flooded with data surrounding our health including our sleeping habits, exercise results, weight loss, blood pressure, etc. Therapy patients (AND THEIR REFERRING PHYSICIANS) want to see progress. Add technology that will easily allow you to track those results.
3) Perception Of Care: This is one of the most missed concepts of outfitting a physical therapy practice that I see, Perception Of Care. Insurance expenses are high. Co-pays are expensive. A patient needs to feel as if they are benefiting from therapy and performing exercises they could not do at home. It is a mistake to make your practice look like the same old physical therapy clinic around the corner. Differentiate yourself and your practice! Technology plays a role in this and can be extremely marketable if you select the correct technology.
4) Maintenance, Service & Support: Budget is always a concern but look for VALUE when selecting equipment and vendors. There are big differences in quality of technology. Ask your vendor questions regarding preventative maintenance, service requirements, and warranty. Sometimes the better investment might be more expensive but it will end up saving you in the long run.
5) Power Requirements: When designing a clinic, you need to consider the power requirements of the technology you plan on implementing in your space. Does your unit require a 110V, 220V or is it self powering? This is part of the value proposition a good equipment vendor can bring to you. One less thing to worry about.
6) Ease Of Use: Some technology is to cumbersome to use and in today’s climate you simply do not have the time to use it. Choose technology that has built in protocols, easy to use displays, quick set up options, dual functionality, and visual and auditory biofeedback.
7) Consolidated Deliveries: The last thing you want to worry about is being onsite to receive various packages of equipment and supplies. What happens if your certificate of occupancy is delayed? Construction is always on time right? Do you hear the sarcasm in my virtual voice… Choose a vendor that can be a “one stop shop” AND provide consolidated deliveries. Can you assemble equipment? Sure you can! Can you be onsite for a week straight to receive equipment? Sure you can. I would argue your time would be better spent marketing your new practice, attending community outreach events, attending a continuing education course or looking into your next clinic location. Leave the delivery and assembly to the experts. One less hassle to worry about.