Let's Help Each Other

Physical therapy is changing rapidly. As a PT with more than thirty years of experience, the changes observed in the last ten years triple those of the first twenty years. The pace of change is not slowing down. The Medigraph Blog will serve as a forum that will enable us to exchange ideas and assist each other. This blog will be used to share billing, documentation, and any other ideas to improve any aspects of our profession. If we share what we have learned, we can develop a resource that enables our collective understanding to advance our careers.

As profit margins grow smaller and expenses grow larger, we need to assist each other to survive and prosper. If we share our experiences we can help each other to grow professionally, administratively, and financially. Our professional lives, our livelihood, and our personal lives are intertwined. Our resources individually are limited. Together we can accomplish more than we can individually. Let's help each other

Regards,

Tom Kane, PT
MediGraph Software

Hard Wired Networks vs. Tablets and Laptops
1/5/2011 1:36:00 PM

Conversations with current and potential MediGraph subscribers regarding the use of wireless devices have been occurring more frequently.   MediGraph is capable of being employed with a wireless router, allowing the use of PC Tablets and Laptops.  At first blush, this sounds like a good idea.  My experience reveals that hard-wired networks are preferable.

At first, when we employed a wireless network with Laptops or PC tablets in our physical therapy group we were all excited.   After the second tablet was dropped, we were reluctant to proceed with the laptop/tablet trial.  We persisted using the wireless network hoping that we would gain efficiency.  Sadly, we discovered that a wireless system reduced our efficiency.  When the third computer fell off of the treatment table, we returned to our hard-wired network.

 One reason the wireless network reduced productivity is that when moving between treatment rooms it is easy to forget where the tablet/laptop was last located.  This misplacement of the tablet may seem small but when it occurs during peak treatment times the lack of ergonomic ease becomes apparent.  Stated more clearly, when all the treatrooms are full, the last thing you need to think about is, "Where did I leave that computer." 

Another reason the wireless system reduced efficiency is it was more difficult to manage the clinical enviornment.  Managing the clinical area is an important component of successful operations.  When documentation is performed on a wireless network, therapists will often be tucked away in a  treatment room documenting their intervention.  In this tucked away setting supervision of the treatment area is more difficult and it can lead to an unoticed  backed-up waiting room,  overflowing trash cans, empty laundry shelves, etc.    With a hard-wired network the main documentation computer station should be located in a central location that has an easy view of the waiting room.  Returning to these central stations facilitates clinical management.  In addition, it is much easier to manage the staff with a centrally located station.   

Our largest office has two PTs and four PTAs that were engaged in patient treatment and documention.  Three PT aides provide support services.   Despite this formidable staff we found that three hard wired stations in the treatment area are more than satisfactory for documentation.  We use one PC central station, a PC in the exercise area, and a PC in the evaluation room.  The recdeptionist has their own PC as well. 

 For those that are considering using wireless devices in their office, please consider the above prior to investing your equipment budget funds in laptops and tablets, which cost much more than a PC.

Regards,

Tom Kane, PT