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PTA Blog Talk

Patient Care and Paperwork

Published December 7, 2011 10:02 PM by Jason Marketti

Which one is more important in the grand scheme of health care?

If we do not chart on a patient, update progress notes and address the goals, insurance companies may not reimburse for the care we provide and some may question whether we even saw the patient on the day in question. However, for some of us to get caught up and ensure all the progress notes are done, goals updated (PTs only please) and daily notes secure in the chart, some patient care may be missed due to time constraints.

One place I worked allowed a therapist to catch up on all the notes that were missed when we became busy and there were not enough hours in a day to complete everything. This was a good idea so that all of the goals were updated, progress notes completed and daily notes in chronological order in the chart. Imagine getting paid to sit and write (or type on a computer) for four to six hours for something you were supposed to do a week ago. It is not fair for the rest of the staff who are caught up on their paperwork because they have to take on the extra patient care.

Would you take on extra work for a therapist so he can complete all the paperwork he missed? What if it was every week - would you still take on extra patient care knowing you made the time to complete your own? Personally, I do not mind taking on a few extra patients so another therapist can get caught up on everything because I know he would do the same for me.


I can see your point now that I am working in long term care.  But it seems the real question lies in management expectations.  If companies are requiring 95% to 100% productivity and not providing the tools to make it possible, then it is a management issue.  If other therapists are completing notes on their non-paid time or clocking in and out to meet productivity standards, then they probably should be taking on an extra load for someone who refuses to do this since it's promoting a false standard.   Unfortunately the "coaching and mentoring" given to the "slack" provider is often to do what the others shouldn't be doing to make there quota.   Where does the problem really lie?

Bert Reitsma, Long term care - Physical therapist October 14, 2012 10:02 AM
Cross City FL

Sounds like a management issue to me. If it is department wide, then something is wrong with scheduling and management has unrealistic expectations. If it is one, or a certain few people consistently, then management needs to step in, coach them and mentor them so they can come up to speed. If they don't improve then it is time for action plans and progressive discipline. Nothing breeds resentment and discontent in a department like having to consistently take up the slack someone else has created. If it is occasional due to staff illness, vacation absences, or unfilled vacancies, then management needs to assure the staff that the situation is temporary, appreciated, and that the team needs to work together to share the burden and ensure patient well being. The last option can only be used occasionally or the staff stops believing it and becomes resentful and unproductive.

Dean Metz December 7, 2011 5:29 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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