With CDC guidelines and state mandates loosening up, people are beginning to put the pandemic behind them and cautiously step back out into the new normal.
The post-covid world for Physical Therapy clinics is now feeling the effect of a handful of new considerations, as practitioners are treating patients in-person again. Let’s look at a few of the post covid trends for physical therapy that should be top of mind as you get back to business.
5 Post Pandemic Trends for Physical Therapy Practices
1. Patient Safety
Clearly, cleanliness and safety is a sentiment shared by everyone and will be paramount wherever you are – restaurants, grocery stores, doctor’s office, etc. As you follow your local mandates, we recommend making it very clear through signage in the clinic that the environment is cleaned and disinfected often. Seeing is believing, so have your protective gear out and be wiping everything down as you work to alleviate any patient concerns.
Our practices have been using Aerus purification systems to keep the air clean. It’s ActivePure technology cleans every bit of the air, disinfecting every corner of the air, surface and even fabrics. It has been tested against COVID-19 live cultures and after 7 hours had disinfected 99.998% of the area.
2. Telehealth Care
Now that this is available as a main service rather than an afterthought, telehealth and telemedicine won’t be going away any time soon. Whether as a matter of safety or as a matter of convenience, telehealth care has proven to be popular in the physical therapy field.
Health Affairs reports that pre-pandemic, approximately 13K people received telemedicine in a week. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, that number rose to 1.7 million beneficiaries. CMS estimates that nearly 9 million people received some version of telehealth treatment between March and June in 2020.
As a physical therapy practitioner, we recommend keeping this very important service as part of your practice. We see it used most successfully for patients who suffer limited mobility and can’t get into the office easily. We also recommend utilizing it for inclement weather days, minor illnesses or to solve for scheduling conflicts.
3. Cash-Based Services
These days, increasing the income verticals at your physical therapy practice should be top of mind. Cash-based services offer additional income streams that solve for patient treatment options without being reliant on insurance payouts.
We often see physical therapy owners adding new services and treatments to their practice, including nutritional counseling, personal training, massage therapy, dry needling, etc. The value of these wellness services goes beyond the bottom line – it shows that you’re committed to patient care beyond just traditional physical therapy services and you can now serve more people within your community with these additional services. In addition, you are essentially marketing to those potential patients who aren’t quite ready for those services yet.
4. Physical Therapy Technology
Utilizing the right technology lets your practice do more with less. This happens by implementing software and systems that improve the processes and procedures that happen every day in your practice.
To start, we recommend automating the patient intake process online. You can also allow auto-payment for over the counter collections. You can even automate your billing and collections by outsourcing to a trusted physical therapy billing service.
Physical therapy technology solutions extend to the equipment you’re using. Options like the NEUBIE device, Heart Rate Variability device and Pulsed-Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy give your patients access to faster, lasting results.
When it comes to your people, you need a solid physical therapy training system (LMS) in place for your staff to help onboard, train and engage employees. Plus, it provides a path to leadership and management – but more on that with the final post-covid physical therapy trend.
5. Personnel Management
This pandemic has renewed so many owners’ human-centered approach to not only patient care, but also to their staff.
As we emerge post-covid as more empathetic leaders, it’s time to invest more in our people. This is done through a personnel management process that systemizes your onboarding and professional enhancement training to ensure your team knows their roles and responsibilities and how their performance is being measured. This is how we set them up for success!
Through regular performance reviews and goal settings, you can optimize their output and improve the results of your business, quickly.
Providing the Best Physical Therapy Care in a Post-Pandemic World
We invite you to treat this time as a renewed chance to improve your life and your practice with the right physical therapy solutions and training to join the top 10% of private practices.
To set you on the right track, we’ve developed a virtual physical therapy training program that provides the structure, leadership and personnel management training that wasn’t covered in PT school. Learn more about MEG Academy.
And, if you want more information on the tips and techniques that are optimizing physical therapy practices in 2021, click the link below: