March 21, 2023
Easy tips for better PT time management
Time flies when you’re running a private practice. Between seeing patients, administrative duties, evaluations, and squeezing in a lunch break, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by daily clinical PT tasks! Not to mention the mental toll it can have, in a recent finding by the APTA Academy of Education, the majority of physical therapists (67.8%) reported work as being the greatest source of burnout.More control over your schedule can increase productivity, lower stress levels, and improve your work/life balance. Prevent exhaustion and start feeling energized by implementing these simple but practical PT time management tips.
It’s time for a change, and here’s how:1. Make PT time management goals achievable
In James Clear's bestseller Atomic Habits, he states, "Too often we convince ourselves that massive results require massive action." When setting goals, we tend to overwhelm ourselves with drastic changes to be successful, but that approach can cause people to exhaust themselves quickly and become unmotivated.
As a PT practitioner or clinic owner, it’s important not to feel stretched too thin. That’s why inserting short-term goals can keep you focused and determined.
Why will short-term goals help with PT time management?
Short-term goals make success happen by breaking down bigger, long-term goals into smaller, manageable tasks. So don’t feel like you have to go big or go home; the best way to implement fundamental changes in your PT clinic is to go slow and steady.
Here are some examples of short-term goals for PT time management:
- Organize and declutter your physical workspace or computer desktop. A clear desk equals a clear mind!
- Collaborate with the front desk and other team members once a week for 5 minutes to review and improve workflow.
- Set up a system for tracking tasks and deadlines, such as using a planner or a task management tool.
When creating time management objectives, keep them simple and practical. It’s better to see little results over time than to overload yourself with too much too soon. Your clinic and patients will thank you!
2. Digitize PT time managementPaper and pen are great when planning to make your time more efficient. But when you're ready to actually schedule these changes, swap out the notebook for something that gives you a 360-degree view of your practice's daily operations.
Trading in your traditional planner for a digital planner is like getting yourself a personal assistant. It simplifies your schedule and keeps you mindful of your time. As a PT, your primary focus should stay with your patients (it’s why you got into this line of work!), so replace anything done manually and make it automatic.
What digital tools simplify PT scheduling?
There are a lot of solutions out there that offer PT management organization tools—but finding one that streamlines your scheduling in more ways than one is important. Remember, you are looking for an assistant to relieve time-consuming activities in your clinic!
Be on the lookout for these essential features when choosing software:
Online scheduling: Your patient’s schedule can change on a dime anytime. So get an app available on both the web and mobile phones. Doing so gives your clients more accessibility to their PT care.
Patient confirmation and reminders: Did you know push notifications have a delivery rate of 90%, and 74% of patients cancel bookings through email? Your clients use different methods to communicate their appointments with you, so it’s necessary to have a tool that enables both channels seamlessly.
Documentation and payment management: As a professional working in the medical field, there’s a lot to keep up with, such as billing, understanding medical codes, and patient data. That readily available information can avoid clinic disruptions and keep you better organized daily.
A comprehensive view of your schedule includes all aspects of your PT clinic.
Invest in a digital tool that does more than your average to-do list and fulfills all your practice needs to run effectively and smoothly.
Tip: With PtEverywhere's all-in-one platform, you access your schedule, organize patient notes, and give clients flexibility with their appointments.
3. Optimize patient attendance
Patients making appointments is vital for their well-being, yet many miss them. Recent surveys have concluded that as many as 42% of patients skip their appointments. No-shows affect productivity in your office and cause a massive loss in clinic revenue!
Having PT no-shows can impact your business and throw your day out of whack. However, having strategies to guarantee patients make their appointments can help them stay healthy and keep you on schedule!
What are ways to keep your waiting room full of confirmed appointments?
Having patients make their appointments keeps your time accurate and precise. What are some easy tactics to ensure people make their PT sessions?
Email confirmations: Not just PTs get overwhelmed with busy schedules; patients do too! A friendly email reminder allows them not only to remember but also gives them the flexibility to reschedule.
One-way SMS messaging: A recent study found that SMS appointment reminders reduce no-show rates by almost 40%. A simple text can prompt your patients to login into their portal to confirm or modify their upcoming visit.
Telehealth: Instead of your patients going to you, come to them. A 2020 study in Telemedicine and e-Health found that telehealth visits have a no-show rate of just 7.5%! In addition, technology, such as video conferencing, can give your PT patients convenience while still offering a meaningful patient engagement experience.
Improving PT time management is time well-spent
There’s so much to do and only so many hours in a day, which rings especially true for any clinic owner. However, you can start taking back control of your PT schedule by tackling administration busy work and creating small doable changes to your daily operations.
Don’t feel overwhelmed and be overbooked ever again! Designed by physical therapists for physical therapists, PtEverywhere streamlines your weekly schedule, appointment reminders, and patient documentation, all from its all-in-one physical therapy practice management software.
To learn more about PT practice management for 2023, book a demo or check out our media center for more therapy tips and tricks!