The average person may think of being “productive” as getting a lot of things done during a workday or accomplishing certain daunting tasks. However, a physical therapist thinks of being “productive” a little differently—one may even cringe at the word.
According to this article, productivity (in PT) is the percentage of time an individual therapist or department spends at work that they’re actually working. Basically, productivity is measured by how many “billable” activities a therapist completes in a workday.
The idea in physical therapy is that volume equals profit, so it’s important that your therapists spend their time wisely and spend as much time with patients as possible. So how can you meet productivity goals without documenting off the clock or tacking on extra services on occasional claims? (Hint: These are illegal if you didn’t already know!)
Here are a few tips for increasing your individual productivity and clinical productivity:
1. Have a Productivity Plan for Your Day
To be Captain Obvious—you don’t have a minute to spare, so be ready to put in work as soon as you walk through the doors of the practice. Unfortunately, this may mean you don’t have the luxury of grabbing your morning coffee and reading the funnies at the front desk until the first patient walks in. Spend your drive to work creating a game plan for the first things you need to do when you get to work.
2. Consolidate and Economize to Increase Clinical Productivity
Start getting ahead as soon as you walk in. If you already know some of the equipment, tools, paperwork or other items you will need throughout the day, get them ready so they’ll be within reach as soon as you need them. This will keep you from digging around later in the day to find what you need with certain patients. In fact, put systems in place with your team to increase efficiency.
Know your required infrastructure. Knowing your computer and tech needs, EMR basics, templates and documentation shortcuts is essential to maintaining peak efficiency in your practice. Keep your staff up-to-date with EMR and IT training so everyone knows the most effective and efficient ways to use technology every day.
Do you know what your practice's key performance indicators are? Knowing them and understanding how they impact your bottom line is key to moving the needle in favor of more profits.
Check out our free download about Metrics that Matter for Physical Therapy Private Practice Owners.
3. Be Productive Between Patients
You may have gaps in your day for various reasons. Don’t forget about those precious minutes in between treatment. If you have a patient working on exercises on a machine and you have five minutes until the next exercise, either work some time with another patient to get him/her started on an exercise or work on your documentation during that time. There is always something you can be doing in between patients and in between exercises. Think of your schedule as a game of Tetris—keep your important “billable” tasks in the forefront while filling in the gaps with the little things you need to get done in between.
4. Add PT/PTA hours to Increase Your Clinical Productivity
In order to know whether you should hire more therapists or assistants, you’ll need to know how many visits are needed for you to meet your revenue goal and achieve the appropriate cost of labor. Click here to learn five ways to increase revenue in your physical therapy clinic.
Say you work 40 hours/week with a productivity of 1.5 visits/hour, seeing 60 visits a week, you can enhance overall clinical productivity by hiring additional PTs or assistants.
For example, if you add 20 hours of a well-trained technician, this results in an increased productive capacity of 10 visits per week for a new total productive capacity of 70 visits per week. Ultimately this equates to 1.75 visits per hour. If you add 40 hours of a well-trained technician, this results in an increased productive capacity of 20 visits per week, or 2 visits per hour and a capacity of 80 visits per week.
Did you know there is actually a proven number for booking your patients for most effective and profitable PT business? In this online workshop, you’ll see how.
While increasing productivity may seem challenging, it’s possible to save time without cutting corners or jeopardizing the integrity of your practice. By following these tips and using valuable time wisely, you should be able to increase productivity across your entire team. Your bottom line will see the difference.
Did you know you can actually see less patients and make more money? Click here to see why providing valuable care is the answer for increasing productivity and profitability.