April is here and some of us are celebrating National Occupational Therapy Month. The event began as far back as in 1980 so there have been several legions of OT practitioners who preceded us. With over 200,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students ameliorating patients’ lives today, this is a good opportunity to thank them for their life altering support and services.
For the uninitiated, occupational therapy helps people to do what they need to do through the therapeutic application of daily activities (or occupations) so as to lead a full, healthy, and active life.
Occupational Therapy Approach
It all comes down to a holistic and customized approach to evaluations and interventions for delivering a range of outcomes such as:
- Helping a child with disabilities to handle school and social environments
- Assisting a person to recover from injuries to regain skills
- Aiding an older adult experiencing physical and cognitive changes to stay as independent as possible
- Offering specialized support and services to people across the age spectrum
If we were to try and distill all of occupational therapy into three steps (at the risk of over simplification), they would probably be:
- Conducting an individualized evaluation to determine the person’s goals
- Developing a customized plan to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach goals
- Performing an outcomes evaluation to ensure that goals are being met and/or make changes to the plan
Staying On Track with Occupational Therapy EMR
End of the day, occupational therapists are busy helping people improve their ability to perform daily tasks when they are recovering from injuries or cognitive disabilities that affect their fine motor skills, emotions or behavior. Constantly moving regulatory and payment goalposts along with increased documentation and administrative requirements can take valuable time from working with patients to achieve this goal or to grow the practice.
The key is to stay on track for clinical and financial success so as to:
- Create quality, compliant OT documentation fast
- Ease workloads and run a more efficient practice
- Get paid accurately and quicker to keep the cash registers ringing
Clinics looking to add OT as a new service to their existing services may want to make sure they have an EMR that enables them to easily add new services as a multi-disciplinary clinic.
As a repository of digital data for setting objectives, formulating interventions, documenting patient care, accessing outcomes, supporting decisions, and planning policies, Occupational Therapy EMR does play a big role. Add in insight and solutions to help adapt to future changes, and you have the makings of a platform that will continue to deliver immensely valuable client care.
Occupational Therapy EMR, The Future
In 2017, Occupational Therapy completed 100 years. The new century has brought new opportunities to the profession. The big picture is about health and wellness, that is what occupational therapy has always been about. Opportunities are endless from ergonomics to body mechanics to technology habits with computer screen time, improper positioning, posture, and social behavior presenting new challenges. There is also the need for intervention for emotional regulation and behavioral health for victims of trauma, persons with mental disorders, and persons in recovery as an area of opportunity for occupational therapy.
As a client-centric solution, EMR continues to unleash new human possibilities. Occupational Therapy EMR and other evolving digital rehabilitation technologies will likely change the conversation around healthcare problems that health practitioners face. Novel technologies will take on chronic conditions and reduce the consequences of disabilities. These 'game-changing' advances will change occupational therapy practice dramatically. It will be exciting to see what the future holds in store.