Owning a Theoretical PT Practice
As part of a very in-depth project for our "Leadership and Professional Development" course, I'm in charge of justifying the purchase of an electronic health record (EHR) for our theoretical outpatient private practice. I've been spending a lot of time researching the benefits, processes and considerations for EHR implementation, and I'm intrigued for a number of reasons.
To start, I'm realizing that the "business" side of PT is far beyond my current understanding of the scope of physical therapy practice. I've spent so much time in the past two years trying to master my clinical skills that I neglected to see this side of things. Financial analyses, readiness assessments, investment profiles, payback periods, capital -- it's all part of a vocabulary that's foreign to me. Perhaps it's because I'm not a very business-minded person, but I'm amazed that clinicians are able to transition into these types of responsibilities assuming they've had no formal business education. It's just unbelievable to me! I don't even know how to work an Excel spreadsheet.
I'm also impressed by the available resources that I've come across while researching electronic health record implementation. From the step-wise approach to how to implement an EHR at HealthIT.gov to the APTA's "Understanding and Adopting an Electronic Health Record," I can see that a great deal of time and effort has been spent easing the burden of such a massive undertaking. (Side note: It also makes me much more inclined to continue being an APTA member after graduation).
While I find myself overwhelmed throughout much of this process, I'm also impressed by how much I'm learning. I don't necessarily see myself wanting to own an outpatient physical therapy practice, but I have a new appreciation for the clinicians who take this leap. I continue to be amazed by the scope of this wonderful profession!