Why Outcomes Data Matters to Your Practice

Presenting at a joint webinar with our partners FOTO provided a great learning experience and an opportunity to understand how the Rehabilitation industry is evolving alongside a change from fee for service toward pay for performance. The Clinicient team has long believed in our customer’s mission to provide great care, and to get paid for the services that are being provided. Many people joined this industry after having a life changing experience with therapy, and making it their life’s mission to provide great care for others.

While physical therapy is growing as a profession, it is still widely misunderstood. The public often equates PT with chiropractic or massage and payers often perceive PT as an interchangeable commodity and are not familiar with the great value that has been demonstrated by early, evidence based PT. The payer confusion is worsened by practice variability, sporadic use of evidence based clinical guidelines, a lack of standardized terminology for many procedures (especially therapeutic exercise and manual therapy), and a healthcare system that is modeled to measure illness and injury, not function.

Why Physical Therapy Needs to be Standardized

Jerry Henderson, our founder and voice of the therapist, always tells me a story about a customer who wanted to track a type of therapeutic activity called “dead bug” where the patient lies on their back and does movements with their hands and legs.  While it is a funny example, it points out a difficult problem in the industry related to the naming of procedures and an ability to have a common measure of what is working and where can it be improved.

At Clinicient we have been working to standardize the measurement of activity, and worked to develop a library of standardized clinical content that will be measurable as you continue to compare various activities, types of therapy, and the patient results being achieved.

The use of Patient Reported Outcomes provides a mechanism to help us prove value.  But, most of us are not using standardized outcomes reporting to measure effectiveness.  In a poll during our recent webinar, just over 60% of the audience noted that they were not measuring outcomes due to time constraints.

By offering an integrated solution between Clinicient and FOTO, the time savings can be provided, and a more integrated measurement of patient outcomes merged with therapist activity, can provide the marketplace broader intelligence on what works best – and when it works best. We are excited for the launch of a solution that can provide this insight and the time savings in one bundle.

Why Outcomes Data is Important

During our webinar, Selena Horner, PT, MS, GCS, did a great job summarizing why outcomes are important to your practice. She listed four main reasons:

  1. Outcomes data can help you evaluate the performance of individual clinicians and also aid in your decision on what targeted education to continue.
  2. Outcomes data provides you with solid statistics about your practice and allows you to easily market your practice directly to consumers.
  3. It can help you prepare for the future and understand what your value is to the community and industry.
  4. Outcomes data gives you consistent data at your fingertips and can help you in negotiating better contracts and proving your worth.

Jerry Henderson also provided excellent insights into how process improvement can provide both the time savings and the business value to drive your business forward.  This visual provides some simple concepts that help move from patient to payment, and eliminate so much of the manual labor and busywork associated with running a practice.  This enables our customers to focus on what matters most, the patient, while sustaining their business.

I believe the change coming in the next 2-5 years requires a shift of focus and an optimization of business processes.  We have made great strides over the last 24 months working to proactively be ready for the future of healthcare, and have embraced our partnership with clients to work together to achieve the best possible results.

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