FORCE Therapeutics has released FORCE Connect, which extends the FORCE TherEx injury rehab platform to mobile and tablet users. FORCE Connect allows a physical therapist to program a patient's mobile device with custom exercise videos and recommended gear, track patients' compliance to their home exercise program while staying in touch through secure messaging and automatic alerts.
FORCE Connect is available for any patient of a FORCE-enabled physical therapy clinic. Physical Therapists use FORCE TherEx or FORCE Premium in their practices to manage patients, track compliance and effortlessly assign video exercises. With FORCE Connect, patients now have an easy way to manage their home rehab program in a fun and engaging environment.
visit our website at http://forcetherapeutics.com/
As stated in our previous blog post, EHRs are being implemented more frequently in physical therapy practices as physical therapists realize the benefits they provide. But how does a physical therapist know which EHR system to choose? PT in Motion published an article recently, Selecting an EHR Vendor, about the steps physical therapists should take when selecting an EHR vendor. We’ve summarized the steps below and provided a few of our own insights.
Conducting preliminary research and investigation.
The article recommends you should research EHR vendors to determine which systems have the functionality you, as a physical therapist, desire. You should research all available methods such as speaking to other PTs, following up on advertisements in trade journals, and conducting online research.
The article advises to start with company websites. They provide information such as features, descriptions, pictures, and some websites even provide product tours right on their website. Prices are seldom posted either for modular or complete systems but you can call the number provided on their websites for specific pricing information. There are even websites that will provide a preliminary analysis of EHR systems that can help narrow down your choices, for example softwareadvice.com.
Shaping the decision team
It should be determined who is in charge of making the decision when it comes to implementing an EHR. A physical therapist should be included in the decision making process even if the office manager is the sole decision maker since they will be utilizing the system as well.
System implementation requires considerable staff training, adaption, adjustment, and can be disruptive. Having everyone involved ensures they are involved in the process and aren’t taken aback by having to use a new system they had no say in implementing. It also ensures they have a good idea of how the system works.
Determining where you’re going. Set goals and write them down.
There are many important factors to take into consideration when deciding on an EHR vendor. The entire staff should be able to use the system so the skills and attitudes of staff need to be considered. The price of EHR vendors varies greatly and you need to figure out what type of system your practice can afford.
Most importantly, you should make a list of the functionalities you want the system to have. Consider both the software and hardware you will need. Do you want the EHR system to be cloud based or do you want a system you can download onto your computer? Are you looking for an EHR system that includes a home exercise prescription tool and messaging or do you want a separate EHR? Make sure you know what you want before you make any decisions.
“You need a vendor that is attentive to your needs during the selection and implementation process, as well as afterward, for ongoing assessment and maintenance needs (1).” Additionally, EHR systems are used in many professional fields so you should consider whether the EHR system you are researching typically is marketed to physical therapist practices. You do not want a system with unnecessary fields that make it difficult for you to use.
Does the vendor make you sign a yearly contract or can you cancel at any time? Is it difficult to reach customer representatives at the company or are they readily available for support?
Requesting product demonstrations.
Product demonstrations ensure you know exactly how the system is used. If you find a product tour to be too confusing or hard to follow, you know that system is not right for you.
Narrowing your choices.
You want a system that is user friendly and won’t take too much time to teach to your staff. Make sure they have preloaded templates and codes if you do not want to enter them yourself.
“Make sure to ask references how the vendor has continued to be attentive to their needs and make sure you choose a vendor that has the ability to adapt to changing technologies and regulations (1).” Will you need to install new updates? Or will updates appear automatically?
Completing the decision
Clarify the vendor’s involvement in the implementation process, including training. What about system updates? Future costs? Also, consider the term of the contract and remedies if the vendor goes out of business.
The article concludes with, “Implementing an EHR system is time-consuming and can be frustrating. But the ability to enter, store, track, and exchange health information is a necessity in this dynamic era of collaborative and integrated health technology (1).”
So make sure you research all of your options and choose an EHR system that is user-friendly, provides the functionality you are looking for, and is provided by a company with good customer support. This will ensure you make the right decision.
If you’re in the process of looking for an EMR, please check out FORCE Premium at forcetherapeutics.com!
(1) Crandall, Deborah. "Selecting an EHR Vendor." PT in Motion. American Physical Therapy Association, Sep 2012. Web. 17 Sep 2012. <http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2012/9/ComplianceMatters/>.
Please visit our website at www.forcetherapeutics.com
by Kathryn Sorte MPH and Bronwyn Spira PT
FORCE Therapeutics attended last month’s mHealth Summit in Washington DC. The Summit was a three day conference that brought together leaders from many different organizations across the mHealth sector including government, the private sector, industry, academia, providers, and not for profit organizations to work together to advance the use of wireless technology to improve health outcomes both in the US and abroad. During our time at the conference we had the opportunity to share how FORCE is transforming the physical therapy delivery system through the FORCE TherEx online platform and our soon to be released mobile app. We also met many other digital health care start ups with great ideas for improving health and health care accessibility through the use of mobile devices.
There were a number of keynote speakers in attendance, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Also in attendance was Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, who shared his perspective on the future of mobile health in the health care industry. He predicted that mobile devices will play a significant role in the future of health care delivery, estimating that by 2020 160 million Americans will be treated remotely via mobile devices. This is great news for both the suppliers and creators of such technology as well as the patients and end users who will receive the benefits of mobile health.
FORCE is already engaged in the mhealth revolution with the release of our mobile app which will be available on the iTunes and Android app markets this month. The FORCE app is a consumer app that will provide individuals the ability to sort through video exercises by type and region to find an exercise for their particular rehabilitation need. The FORCE app will reach those who may not have access to physical therapy, or for those who are not currently using the FORCE TherEx on-line platform and are in need of video exercises to enhance their physical therapy experience. According to Paul Jacobs: “individuals are ready to stay healthy”, and with the introduction of our mobile app, consumers will have 24/7 access to quality of life improving video exercises.
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- FORCE Packs deliver mobile flights of care for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch
- Digital Patient Management and Tracking System for Physical Therapists
- Regulation of Medical Apps by the FDA: What qualifies as a “medical app”
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- Electronic Alerts
- Evidence-based practice
- Patient Compliance
- Patient portal
- Physical Therapy
- Social Media
- Video Exercise