Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Organization: The Engine of our Practice

by Sally Fansler, PT
As we slowly approach warmer weather in Chicago, many of us are driven toward the traditional "spring cleaning." Here, however, we work to keep things tidy all year round. In my experience, being organized is every bit as important to our employees as being patient, knowledgeable, positive, compassionate, caring and accountable. It is frankly impossible to overstate the value of organization, especially if you are a busy clinician or a physical therapy practice office manager. 

Now, I am a pen-and-paper person at the core so my Office Manager, Lauren, has had to gently nudge me toward the simplicity of digital organization over the years. It has felt like such a success to streamline and digitize many of the day-to-day processes in our physical therapy clinics. Our online patient calendars are synced between both clinics for ease of scheduling and access. Each employee’s schedule is color-coded and clear. Our Google Drive folders are available at a finger’s tap to share research articles, doctor recommendations, or a running program with our patients. And since we already operate within the Google ecosystem, the Google Keep app is the best and appeals to my love of the traditional sticky notes! We create notes and lists, reminders, and check off completed tasks in vivid color. 

As with many medical offices, all physical patient care charts are gone and replaced by electronic medical records, creating efficient, secure, and compliant documentation that is accessible from anywhere. Innovation and technology changes can make anyone apprehensive, especially for those of us who have become accustomed to doing work in a particular way. However, the new technology benefits are making our daily processes smoother and helping maintain our office productivity as well. 

It is always a work in progress, but once you start to build a trusted organizational system that you use regularly, you can turn a hectic day to an efficient and calm one. It feels great to leave the clinic each day with a clean inbox and a clutter-free desk. With solid systems in place, we can relax and focus on what we do best – patient care.