Many physical therapists wish they could spend less time on documentation and more time working directly with their patients. Documentation needs have only increased over the years, and now many therapists find themselves combing through piles of paperwork and tapping data into a computer for hours each day after all their patients have gone home.
There are important reasons for a therapist to have accurate documentation, of course. A therapist needs to
- Document functional loss
- Document specifics about prior functional levels
- Establish a home exercise program with clear goals, and monitor compliance
Consistently doing these things as part of a daily workflow is critical to justify skilled interventions, ensure smooth communication with other providers and legally protect oneself as a professional.
Many physical therapy evaluation codes are untimed, and it can be easy to fail to account for the extra time that goes into testing and documentation, leaving money on the table. Improved documentation is an effective way to ensure that money is not lost to inefficient or error-prone workflow practices.
Point-of-service documentation is a critical piece to improving this process. By efficiently tracking data taken during patient interactions, a therapist is able to save time, deliver better care, and accurately track and bill for everything that happens in a session.
There is an art to doing this dynamically during a patient session, and experienced therapists are skilled in taking notes in the brief moments while a client is holding a prolonged stretch or doing a cardio warmup. Introducing technology that streamlines and reduces the need to jump back and forth from patient interaction to data recording is extremely valuable.
Cipher Skin’s BioSleeves integrate directly into a physical therapist’s workflow by automating common functional assessments and screening tests. The patient simply puts a Cipher Skin BioSleeve on and moves through their testing protocol with their therapist. Instead of the therapist having to stop at every step, record a range of motion with a goniometer and then write that information down on a clipboard, every piece of data is accurately and automatically recorded in a secure, digital format.
This not only improves the accuracy of functional testing data and improves documentation, but allows the therapist to move more quickly through testing protocols while keeping their attention focused on the patient interaction, thus improving patient care by delivering a better overall experience.
The patient feels that the therapist is more present and attentive, giving the patient the opportunity to establish a stronger rapport with their therapist.
Cipher Skin’s BioSleeves also open up a new level of holistic patient care by enabling remote monitoring of testing protocols and at-home exercise program monitoring. A patient can wear Cipher Skin BioSleeves at home and record every motion of an at-home workout protocol, or be remotely guided by their therapist through the same testing protocols that they practiced in the clinic. All of that data, including 3-dimensional motion, is automatically recorded and stored.
This enables better monitoring and documentation of functional changes over time, as well as improved compliance and greater consistency in tracking of at-home programs. Ultimately, it requires physical therapists to spend less of their time on paperwork, giving them the ability to work more efficiently and bill consistently for the care and results that they deliver.