Most of us remember the days before electronic charting. There are some providers who still prefer paper documentation for personal reasons. I’ve heard colleagues say that they find it easier to think on paper, or have a visual memory of where a note was jotted down on paper. Others haven’t had the opportunity to digitize and are concerned about the switch and how it will impact their overall business processes. It can be easier to just do what you have always done. But as James Wedmore says, what got you here won’t get you there. Times are changing and there are benefits in adjusting to digital advantages such as charting.
Digital documentation not only saves occupational therapist and SLPs a significant amount of time on their notes, but the right platform will simplify other aspects of a provider’s job, such as scheduling, treatment planning and invoicing. Read on to learn about the main benefits of digital charting:
Access from anywhere
Digital charting allows you to transport and take your notes wherever you are. You can access your files from a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. This means no more late nights at the office, and you can finally achieve the work-life balance that every private practice owner needs.
As a therapist, I’m sure you know that organization skills do not come easily to everyone. Once you get in the thick of treating clients and managing administrative duties, organization can fall by the wayside. Digital charting platforms track what has been completed and send reminders for what still needs your attention, so you can stay on top of deadlines and ace all of your professional duties. Digital charting makes staying organized easier than ever.
Fosters better habits
How many times have you complained about using outdated documentation systems, or how the notes keep piling on and you can’t keep up? By switching to a comprehensive digital charting platform, you can use the efficient workflows you’ve always dreamed of. While the system does most of the legwork, you can focus on establishing better documentation habits and becoming a more productive, engaged provider. Some of these include:
- Documenting in the moment – don’t wait until after your treatment session, take notes as you go inputting them directly into your system. Then when the session is done, so is your charting, or at least it is close to it.
- Using pictures – pictures can say more than words, adding pictures to charting allows for a quick analysis of progress
- Share homework – prior to ending the session, write down and share homework with the client so they can be successful in following through. Don’t wait to finish later or it might be days or weeks.
- Incorporate goals – as therapist we set goals to guide treatment, yet we don’t always reference them. But incorporating your client goals into each session, you can comment directly on each goal which saves on overall charting time.
There are many digital charting systems out there, but not all of them serve as a comprehensive business solution that saves you time and energy. A successful platform will offer resources that prevent you from duplicating your efforts when completing administrative duties that take up a big chunk of your day. It is important to look for features such as:
- A built-in scheduler
- The ability to upload paper documents for safe-keeping and easy access
- Adding pictures, PDFs, and other attachments to your notes
- Digital session planning
These tools and the system can revolutionize the way your business operates. By this point, your primary goal should be finding a comprehensive, reliable system that fits the needs of your private practice. Ask yourself, If I could just do_____________, then I could be more efficient in charting or thrive in private practice. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Whatever it is, you need a digital platform that will solve that problem for you!
Therabyte is a therapist-owned business tool that saves time on administrative tasks while facilitating the treatment process. As an Occupational Therapist working in peds private practice, it was important to streamline my documentation workflow not only for me, but for my clients. Therabyte offers many efficiency-boosting features, such as:
- Integrated goal tracking
- Adding in PDFs and pictures to notes
- 3-step visual scheduler for quick tracking
- Cloud-based access from any device
To learn more about how Therabyte can save you time and help grow your private practice, sign up for a free trial today!START MY FREE TRIAL
This blog post was written in collaboration with Brittany Ferri, OTR/L, CPRP. In addition to being a telehealth specialist and health writer, Brittany is the founder of Simplicity of Health, LLC where she provides health education and a range of other services for individuals of all ages.