November 5, 2020

How to Craft a Home Exercise Program (HEP) for Your Patients

Embarking on a journey to better health and well-being can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, and the Home Exercise Program (HEP) plays a vital role on this path. HEPs give the patient the opportunity to take ownership of their health and fitness goals. In addition, they provide the tools and resources they need to reach their desired outcomes.

Physical therapists are uniquely positioned to help patients create personalized HEPs that help them achieve maximum success. HEPs provide individuals with a comprehensive fitness plan tailored to their individual needs and goals.

What is HEP in Physical Therapy?

At its core, a home exercise program consists of carefully curated exercises designed by therapists to maintain or improve their patients' functional and movement goals. Each physical therapy home exercise program is unique, tailored to the recipient's specific needs, enhancing therapy effectiveness.

The HEP in physical therapy should provide specific instructions on how to use and maintain the exercises, as well as any potential risks associated with the activities. The PT's role also extends to monitoring patient progress and adjusting the HEP home exercise program as needed.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore how to create successful PT HEPs that empowers your patients and put them on the road to recovery.

The Importance of HEPs in Rehabilitation

The home Exercise Program (HEP) plays a pivotal role in rehabilitation, offering numerous advantages to both patients and healthcare professionals.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Enhanced Recovery: HEP PT acts as a bridge between in-clinic care and daily life, ensuring continuous progress and a more complete recovery.
  • Pain Management: When patients diligently adhere to their HEPs, they often reduce pain levels, which is a fundamental aspect of rehabilitation.
  • Improved Functionality: HEPs help patients regain and enhance their functional abilities, contributing to improved quality of life and independence.
  • Endurance and Mobility: Engaging in HEPs can lead to increased endurance and range of motion, which are critical for regaining strength and normalcy.
  • Preventing Re-injury: By strengthening specific areas of the body and addressing movement deficiencies, HEPs can reduce the risk of reinjury, ensuring patients can maintain their well-being.
  • Long-Term Commitment to Health: HEPs promote long-term movement routines, instilling health and fitness into patients' daily lives.

As healthcare professionals, it's our responsibility to communicate the importance of HEPs and ensure that our patients follow through with optimal outcomes.

Best Tools for Creating Effective HEPs

PTs need to do homework before assigning their patients to an HEP program. Luckily there are ways to make this process easier and more streamlined for both parties.

Thankfully, PtEverywhere takes the hassle out of homework. The integrated HEP system is comprehensive, user-friendly, and engaging!

image of woman doing home exercise program

Comprehensive Exercises

PtEverywhere is home to an extensive video library, all available for you to prescribe in a personalized manner for your patients. In search of a new or hard to find exercise? PtEverywhere allows you to film and create your own videos directly through the app.

Simply upload videos from your phone or computer, or add videos to your HEP Library from YouTube or Vimeo. With these powerful resources, you are also equipped to promote continuity programming in your individually-tailored wellness protocols, establishing yourself as a trusted resource and an expert in optimal movement and performance.

User-Friendly Platform

There is a reason why PtEverywhere is enjoyed by PT professionals nationwide. allows physical therapists to prescribe single videos, PDF files, or detailed programs (or protocols) to keep your patients motivated, accountable, focused, and on track for success. On the patients’ end, PtEverywhere’s paperless system replaces stick figure handouts with videos that patients can securely access anytime, any place. This means no more “I lost the handout… I lost the email… I accidentally deleted the exercise on my phone.”

Engaging Content

Through videos, guides, how-to's, and interactive home exercise programs, patients are given the tools they need to reach their goals and get better faster. PtEverywhere allows physical therapists to connect directly with patients to track their progress. Patients receive reminders to complete their exercises and mark them done, such that both patient and provider can view exercise compliance. Because everything is stored securely and in the same place, patients can access and complete their assignments indefinitely. This includes both current assignments and completed assignments – with the goal of building lifelong trusted relationships. By gaining trust and helping patients reach their goals, retention and referrals will also come naturally.
Cheers to organic practice growth and professional development!

physical therapy exercises





 What Does It Take to Create a Successful HEP?

Creating a successful Home Exercise Program (HEP) involves several key elements to ensure that patients can effectively follow and benefit from their prescribed exercises.

Exercise Photos are Helpful

High-resolution photos of each exercise are essential for clear and precise visual guidance. These images should demonstrate the correct form, both at rest and at the peak of each movement. Quality images that are well-lit and professionally presented help patients understand the exercises better.

Videos of the Exercises are Welcome

Whenever feasible, provide videos of the assigned exercises. Videos offer a dynamic way to showcase the full range of motion during each exercise. They can address the nuances of movements that might be missed in still images.

Include Brief Overviews of Each Exercise

Provide concise yet informative descriptions of the physical therapy exercises. These descriptions should include the number of repetitions, sets, and the recommended frequency (daily or weekly) for performing the exercises. These overviews remind patients of proper form and execution

Tips for Improving Your HEP Exercises

By following these tips, you can enhance the effectiveness of your HEP exercises and increase patient adherence, ultimately leading to better rehabilitation outcomes.

  1. Educate Your Patients: Begin by thoroughly explaining the importance of a home exercise program (HEP) to your patients. Make sure they understand how these exercises are critical to achieving their functional goals. Engage them in the process so they see the value of their participation.

  2. Concise Exercise Descriptions: When providing exercise descriptions, strike a balance between knowledgeable and concise information. Avoid overwhelming patients with excessive text. Clear, straightforward instructions are easier to follow.

  3. Keep It Short and Sweet: HEPs should be time-efficient. Long, complex routines are less likely to be completed. Aim for exercises that can comfortably be integrated into a patient's daily routine within 15 minutes or less.

  4. Utilize Technology: Use technology to deliver physical therapy exercises and videos. Studies show that patients are more likely to adhere to their therapy plans when they can access exercises through an app or website.

  5. Prompt Responses: Respond to patient inquiries. Whether they leave questions in your voicemail or HEP software, timely responses are crucial. Patients should feel supported throughout their rehabilitation journey.

  6. Accessibility: Ensure that the HEP is easily accessible to all patients, regardless of their circumstances. If a patient lacks stable internet access, consider providing a hard copy of their program. Tailor the delivery method to their needs.


By offering high-quality media, accessible resources, and interactive features, you can significantly improve patient adherence and outcomes. This modern approach to HEPs aligns with patient preferences and ensures the best possible care.

PtEverywhere's physical therapy home exercise program app provides the tools you need to create a successful Home Exercise Program (HEP) for your patients. PtEverywhere's commitment to innovation and patient-centered solutions empowers you to achieve optimal results in your practice while enhancing the patient experience.

Cheers to growth and professional development in physical therapy - Request a free demo today!